At least 20 people were killed yesterday when two female suicide bombers detonated explosives at a crowded fish market in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The blasts also injured 66 persons, according to National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA’s twit.
A civilian vigilante, Danlami Ajaokuta, said: “We have sorted out 20 dead bodies and 50 others that are injured. We heard a loud explosion at about 3:50pm while we were preparing for the afternoon prayers. It happened right inside the motor park attached to the fish market where labourers were sorting out rice.”
He said that according to survivors’ accounts, a woman came into the bus station with a casserole dish, shouting out for customers.
“People were occupied with sorting the rice. No one paid any attention to her.
“Suddenly, the casserole, which obviously contained explosives, went off. She was blown to pieces. We have sorted out 20 dead bodies and 50 others that are injured,” he said.
Ajaokuta’s account was supported by a labourer working at the scene who survived the blast, which sent people running in all directions.
“The rescue operation is still on, so the death toll may be higher at the end,” said the labourer, who asked not to be identified.
A security source also confirmed the attack but said, “I don’t have the details.”
NEMA confirmed on its twitter handle @nemanigeria that, “A bomb blast occurred at the Baga Road fish market around 3.35 pm killing 11 people while injuring 66 people. Two loud explosions believed to have been caused by suicide bombers erupted bringing confusion to the scene. A team of rescue officials have since evacuated the dead while the injured have been moved to various hospitals within the metropolis.”
Another account however claimed that a young female suicide bomber detonated her explosives at a bus station, near a fish market in the Baga Road area of the city, which has been repeatedly targeted in recent weeks by shelling, bombs and suicide attacks.
Reports from Maiduguri indicated that the bomber was a girl aged about 17.
There were also indications of a second bombing by a girl about the same age outside the bus station but no one was hurt.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Boko Haram extremists have frequently targeted civilians at markets and bus stations.
The bombers have also used young women and girls as human bombs since the middle of last year, as part of a campaign of terror in the restive northeast and beyond.
Yesterday’s bombing takes the number of attacks in the city to five this month alone. Three have been by suicide bombers and one targeted a cattle market.
On June 3, an improvised explosive device left outside a mechanics’ workshop on Baga Road killed 18 while on May 30, 26 people were killed in a suicide attack in mosque.

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