BARELY two days after at least 120 people were killed and 270 others wounded Friday at the Grand Mosque in Kano, in northeast Nigeria, two explosions ripped through a market in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Monday killing several people, witnesses said.
More than 10 people were killed when two female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a crowded market in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, police told AFP on Monday.
The attack comes nearly a week after two female suicide bombers attacked the same area, killing more than 45 people.
It has been a deadly few days in northeast Nigeria.
The attack at the mosque in Kano, the biggest city in the mainly Muslim north of the country, came just as Friday prayers had started when two suicide bombers blew themselves up and gunmen opened fire on worshippers. The mosque is attached to the palace of the Emir of Kano, one of the country’s top Islamic leaders, who two weeks ago issued a call to arms against Boko Haram because the federal government was unable to protect them.
In this latest attack, witnesses Ahmad Sanusi said; “A middle-aged woman approached the site where chicken sellers attend to customers but vigilantes who stood nearby insisted on checking the luggage she was carrying”.
“The woman refused, arguing that what she held were her wares. While the argument ensued, some people gathered at the scene and that was when she detonated the explosive,” he told AFP.
The Monday Market was hit last Tuesday by two women who detonated explosives hidden under their hijabs. The same market was attacked on July 1 and at least 15 people died.
A police bomb squad on Friday defused a suspected remote-controlled improvised explosive device buried in the dirt near another market in Maiduguri.
Boko Haram militants were suspected and it was thought the bomb was intended to hit worshippers at a local mosque. Two suspected female suicide bombers were arrested in Maiduguri last week.
It was not immediately clear whether the woman in Monday’s incident was a suicide bomber or if she was merely carrying explosives hidden in her luggage.
But another witness, Goni Abba, reported a second explosion just seconds after the first. Nearby buildings were destroyed and there were reports of deaths and injuries, he added.
There was no immediate official confirmation of fatalities but the police, army and Red Cross were at the scene.
Another local resident who was in the area at the time said: “I was at the Borno state television station, which is just opposite the Monday Market, to see a friend.
“I heard an explosion and we were told that it happened at the market. I’m now in his office because it’s not safe to venture outside,” said the resident, who asked not to be identified.
The blasts happened as Boko Haram fighters launched a dawn raid on the capital of neighbouring Yobe state, Damaturu, apparently targeting the police.
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan vowed to hunt down those behind “heinous” attacks on the Kano mosque, but a sense of crisis is slowly enveloping the country over the sharply increased Boko Haram attacks.
A Nigerian security expert, Ona Ekhomu, told a TV debate after the Kano outrage that the latest attacks showed that “we are at war in Nigeria”.