UPDATE: 20 killed as suicide bomber hits Maiduguri market


A suicide bomb blast at a poultry market in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, Saturday, has killed at least 20 people and injured 18 others, witnesses have said.

Members of the local vigilante, known as the Civilian JTF, told PREMIUM TIMES they saw 20 bodies after the attack.

The bodies were counted as the Civilian JTF fighters arrived the scene to help with rescue effort. Our sources did not want to be named for security reasons.

The explosion, less than six weeks after the same market was attacked by suicide bombers, occurred at 12:20 P.M. Nigerian time, residents and security officials said.

The attack sparked panic across the Borno state capital, with some residents scampering home for safety.

The spokesperson of the Borno Police, Gideon Jibrin, confirmed the explosion.

He however said police detectives were heading to the scene to ascertain the extent of damage.

A security source, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the explosive was ferried into the market by a female suicide bomber believed not to be older than 10.

“Her body was completely shattered,” he said. “Because of the high calibre explosive she strapped to her body, the upper part of her body was flung apart and found about 500 metres away.”

The source said the explosion occurred shortly after another suspected bomber was apprehended in the area.

Suicide bombers, believed to be members of the extremist Boko Haram sect, had attacked the same market last December 1.

The police said six people, including two female suicide bombers, died in that attack.

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