Suspected Boko Haram Islamist sect on Tuesday killed at least 50 persons and injured dozens, when a bomb it planted exploded at Sabon Gari Market in Borno State, Nigeria’s North-East.
Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that the explosion occurred during peak trading of the weekly market around 1:15 pm.
AFP said that the death toll was earlier put at 47, but had risen to 50 by the evening.
“We have received at least 47 dead bodies and at least 50 with injuries from the Sabon Gari market, where there was a blast this afternoon,” a nurse at the Biu General Hospital, around 50 kilometres away, told AFP.
He said the injuries from the blast were mostly severe and that the death toll was expected to rise.
A member of a local vigilante group fighting Boko Haram alongside the army, Yuram Bura said:
“The explosion happened inside the market at the mobile phone section, near the livestock section of the market,
“It was concealed in a knapsack used for spraying herbicides. It was smuggled into the market and apparently abandoned… This is no doubt the handiwork of Boko Haram.”
Another member of the local youth vigilance group, Abubakar Ibrahim added, “Many people were killed in Sabon Gari market, along Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu highway, this (Tuesday) afternoon when a bomb explosion rocked the market.”
“Our men heard a loud explosion at about 1.35pm. When they got there, they saw mangled bodies, burnt beyond recognition.”
Ibrahim added that the incident was not caused by a suicide bombing, but rather from a planted bomb at the centre of the market.
Sabon Gari is a village on Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu highway, a distance of about 140 kilometres from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.