KANO, Nigeria: Two female suicide bombers struck at a busy market in Nigeria on Friday, killing at least 30 people, the military said, in the latest bloodshed to hit the country’s restive northeast.
The attack on Madagali was the third time the town has been targeted since December last year when two female suicide bombers killed scores.
“At least 30 people have been killed in the suicide blasts carried out by two female suicide bombers in the market,” military spokesman major Badare Akintoye told AFP.
“Several people have been injured in the attack,” said Akintoye by phone from a military base in the town of Mubi, 100 kilometres (60 miles) away.
A local government official and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed the attack.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, the blasts bore all the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which regularly uses women and young girls to carry out suicide attacks in its seven-year insurgent campaign in the troubled region.
“The two bombers who (were) disguised as customers, detonated their suicide belts at the section of the market selling grains and second-hand clothing,” said Yusuf Muhammad, the chairman of Madagali local government.
“We still don’t have the exact number of those injured but they are many.”
Market trader Habu Ahmad said the blasts happened around 9:30 am (0830 GMT).
“It was dead bodies and wounded people in the midst of blood, spilt grains and abandoned personal effects,” he said.
Ibrahim Abdulkadir, NEMA spokesman for the northeast, said rescuers had been deployed to the scene.
– ‘Under control’ –
“We heard there was a twin-blast in a market at Madagali this morning. Our men are on (the) ground evacuating the victims,” he told AFP. “We still don’t have details of casualties.”
He said security agents had cordoned off the scene of the explosions.
President Buhari had told a security conference in Senegal on Wednesday that the situation in the region was “under control”.
The United Nations has warned that the affected region faces the “largest crisis in Africa”.
The UN estimates that 14 million people will need outside help in 2017 because of the ongoing violence, particularly in Borno State, the epicentre of the rebellion.—AFP