Blast in Nigeria kills at least 32, wounds 80

Blast at market in northeastern Nigeria’s Yola kills at least 32 people, wounds 80 others, Red Cross and National Emergency Management Agency report

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People gather at the scene of a bomb blast at a fruit and vegetable market in the Jimeta area of Yola, Adamawa, Nigeria.

At least 32 people were killed and 80 others wounded in a blast at a market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Yola on Tuesday evening, Reuters reported citing both the Red Cross and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

"So far, we've recorded about 32 dead and about 80 injured," said NEMA coordinator for Yola Sa'ad Bello.

The blast took place at a fruit and vegetable market beside a main road in the Jimeta area of Adamawa’s state capital around 8pm local time (1900GMT).

"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.

A witness told Reuters that he had seen eight ambulances that were carrying injured people away for treatment.

No group or individual has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but the blast resembled ones conducted by militant group Boko Haram which has killed thousands of people over the last six years in an attempt to create a state of its own in the northeast of the country.

Suspected Boko Haram militants have reportedly conducted attacks in neighbouring countries including Chad, Niger and Cameroon in recent weeks. However, the group has not attacked northeastern Nigeria since late October when bombings in Yola and Maiduguri killed at least 37 people.

Boko Haram has killed around 1,000 people since Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari took power in May, pledging to crush the militant group.

After the group had lost most of the territory they seized earlier this year to the Nigerian army, the militants carried out attacks on markets, bus stations, places of worship and hit-and-run attacks on villages.

Buhari was in Yola this month to encourage soldiers for bravery in the counter-insurgency and visit a camp for displaced people during six years of violence. He told troops that he believed Boko Haram "are very close to defeat" and called on soldiers "to remain vigilant, alert and focused to prevent Boko Haram from sneaking into our communities to attack soft targets."

TRTWorld and agencies