An explosion rocked an international market on Tuesday in the heart of Maiduguri, capital of northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state. Dozens of people are feared dead, according to witnesses, hospital and security sources.
The two bodies of the bombers were recovered from the scene of the blast, which occurred at about 8:10 a.m. local time (0710 GMT) at the entrance of the market, said a source at the Maiduguri Specialists Hospital. More than 15 injured people were brought to the hospital on Tuesday morning. A security source said a rescue operation was still ongoing at the scene of the bomb blast.
The bomb exploded at the busy market near the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) building, a crowded commercial area. The bombing marks the first major attack by the Islamic extremist sect Boko Haram since the beginning of the Muslim fasting period, Ramadan.
Explosions last week targeted the biggest shopping mall in Abuja, Nigeria’s central capital, killing 24 people; a medical college in northern Kano city, killing at least eight; and a hotel brothel in northeast Bauchi city that killed 10. It was the third bomb blast in as many months in Abuja, and the second in two months in Kano. In May, twin car bombs at a marketplace also left more than 130 dead in central Jos city and killed at least 14 people at a World Cup viewing site in Damaturu, another town in the northeast.
Maiduguri, a city of more than 1 million people, has suffered many attacks. In March, twin car bombs killed more than 50 people at a late-night market where people were watching a football match on a big screen.
Boko Haram has attracted international attention and condemnation since its April abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from a northeastern town. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said the country will leave no stone unturned to reinforce its defense against terrorism.
Report compiled with information from Xinhua and The Associated Press.