More than 30 people have lost their lives and 80 more sustained injuries in an explosion that ripped through a market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Yola.
The bomb was detonated beside a main road in a crowded market in the Jambutu area of Adamawa’s provincial capital at about 20:20 local time (1920 GMT) on Tuesday, but it was not immediately clear whether it was caused by an improvised explosive device or an explosive-laden vest worn by a terrorist.
“So far, we’ve recorded about 32 dead and about 80 injured,” said Sa’ad Bello, the Yola coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency, AFP reported.
The Red Cross and state police, however, gave a lower toll of 31 dead and 72 wounded.
According to Red Cross official Aliyu Maikano and local residents, the targeted area was a lorry park which also houses a livestock market, an open-air eatery and a mosque.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast, but it bears the hallmark of Boko Haram Takfiri militants.
The deadly explosion occurred just days after Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari visited Yola and said that the defeat of Boko Haram was close.
“With what I have seen today, I believe that the Boko Haram are very close to defeat and I urge you to quickly clear the remnants of these criminals from wherever they may still be hiding,” Buhari said on Friday.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly shootings and bombings in Nigeria since the beginning of their militancy in 2009, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 15,000 people and made more than 1.5 million displaced.
The terrorists have recently pledged allegiance to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which is primarily operating inside Syria and Iraq.