Three suicide bombers targeted a fish market in the northeast city of Maiduguri, the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

Suicide bombings have continued in Nigeria despite repeated assertions by the government and the military since 2016 to have defeated Boko Haram. February 16, 2018
Suicide bombings have continued in Nigeria despite repeated assertions by the government and the military since 2016 to have defeated Boko Haram. February 16, 2018 (AP)

Three suicide bombers killed 19 people and wounded 70 others in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, capital of the state worst hit by the Boko Haram insurgency, its police commissioner said on Saturday.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack but the use of suicide bombers in crowded areas is a hallmark of the militant group, which has killed more than 20,000 people since 2009 and forced over two million to flee their homes.

Babakura Kolo and Musa Ari, from the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) assisting Nigeria's military against the Islamists, said the bombers were all men.

"We have 19 dead and about 70 others injured... Two of the bombers attacked the Tashan Kifi fish market. Then four minutes later, a third bomber struck nearby," said Kolo.

"The victims included 18 civilians and one soldier. The Tashan Kifi is an informal market which serves as an eatery, market and also hang-out for residents."

Ari said 22 of the 70 injured were in a critical condition, adding: "There is no question as to who did it: Boko Haram has targeted Konduga several times."

At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.6 million others made homeless since 2009. Nigeria's military and government maintains the group is a spent force.

Suicide bombings have continued despite repeated assertions by the government and the military since 2016 to have defeated the Boko Haram insurgency.

On January 31, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up at Mandarari village, near Konduga.

President Muhammadu Buhari took office in 2015 with a promise to improve security for ordinary Nigerians.

But in addition to the insurgency, communal violence has plagued swathes of the country in the last few months, including a clash on Thursday that killed 18. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies