A night-time suicide bombing blamed on Boko Haram extremists killed 32 people and wounded 80 Tuesday at a truck stop in northeastern Nigeria, an emergency official said.Tuesday night’s blast breaks a three-week hiatus in bombings after a string of suicide attacks culminated in twin explosions in mosques in two northeastern cities that killed 42 people and wounded more than 100 on Oct. 23.
The explosion occurred at a fruit and vegetable market beside a main road in the Jimeta area of Adamawa’s state capital around 8pm (1900 GMT).
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the blast bore the hallmarks of militant Islamist group Boko Haram which has killed thousands over the last six years in its bid to create a state adhering to strict Sharia law in the northeast.
“Thirty-two people were killed and 80 have been injured,” said a Red Cross official who asked not to be named. NEMA regional spokesman Alhaji Sa’ad Bello later gave the same casualty figures.
Suspected Boko Haram militants have carried out attacks in neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon in recent weeks but have not struck northeastern Nigeria since late October when bombings in Yola and Maiduguri left at least 37 people dead.
“The ground near my shop was covered with dead bodies. I helped to load 32 dead bodies into five vehicles,” said witness Alhaji Ahmed, who owns a shop in the market.
Suspected members of Boko Haram have killed around 1,000 people since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May, vowing to crush the militant group.
Since losing most of the territory they took over earlier this year to the Nigerian army, the militants have focused attacks on markets, bus stations and places of worship, as well as hit-and-run attacks on villages.
Story by Reuters and The Associated Press.