Twin bombs rock northeastern Nigerian city
Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up, killing at least ten people on Tuesday in a crowded market area of Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri, the centre of a militant Islamist insurgency, witnesses said.
Four witnesses near the scene said that a woman had entered the roadside trading area behind the city’s main market before blowing herself up.
“While the people were trying to help the injured, the second bomb blasted,” said witness Sani Adamu. “I saw lots of bodies”.
Another media report said that more than 45 people died in the twin bombings.
Health worker Dogara Shehu said he counted more than “45 people killed, some of them completely decapitated” in an account backed up by a witness, who declined to give his name.
A spokesperson for Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency confirmed that “many people have been killed” but did not have an official death toll.
There was no claim of responsibility, but suspicion is likely to fall on violent Islamist group Boko Haram, whose five-year-old campaign for an Islamic state has killed thousands.
Nigerian authorities did not immediately respond to media on requests for comment.
Female suicide bombers a growing tactic
Using female suicide bombers has become a growing tactic of the group.
Adamu said he counted more than 30 people on the ground, but did not know if they were dead or wounded. Another three witnesses said at least 10 were killed in the blasts.
Police cordoned off the scene and sirens wailed in the aftermath.
“I counted ten dead bodies on the ground before the police arrived,” said trader, Muhammadu Garba.
A source at Maiduguri’s General Hospital said five bodies had already arrived from the scene.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan plans to ask the National Assembly to extend a state of emergency in three northeastern states worst hit by the insurgency, when it expires this week.
– Reuters, AFP