A bomb blast went off at around 1 p.m. at a busy meat market in Maiduguri on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 killing about 50 people in an attack bearing the hallmarks of terrorist group Boko Haram militants.
The bomb, was kept under a butcher’s table in the market, killing several shoppers and passers by, a military sources told Reuters .
One of the emergency personnel on the site Lawal Kawu that 31 burnt bodies had been evacuated to the teaching hospital in Maiduguri, and several other people were brought in with severe injuries.
Witnesses said they suddenly heard a loud explosion.
“It shook our school building and I had to run away. I saw military vehicles with soldiers moving toward the area,” Abubakar Mohammed, a student close to the blast scene said.
Boko Haram has killed thousands of people and displaced some 1.5 million in an insurgency to establish an Islamic caliphate in the northeast of Nigeria but have lost almost all of the territory it seized to a multinational counter-offensive this year.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which followed two weekend bombings that killed at least 30 people and also appeared to be the handiwork of Boko Haram.
Meanwhile, a video purporting to show Boko Haram militants and featuring an unidentified speaker was posted on YouTube on Tuesday.
The speaker in the video accused Nigeria and her neighbour states that have combined to fight the Islamist militants namely Niger, Chad and Cameroon, of lying about their recent military successes.
“Most of our territory is still under control,” he said.
“Whoever believes that the Nigerian army has defeated us…. know that we have battled against them and killed them,” he said in the 10-minute video that featured blood-soaked corpses.
The film included footage of what appeared to be pieces of a Nigerian jet. “President of Nigeria, here are your goods,” says a militant in the video.
Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency ended with the inauguration on Friday of successor Muhammadu Buhari, who has pledged to wipe out Boko Haram.
It was not possible for Reuters to verify the video’s authenticity or date.
Boko Haram seem to be returning to bombing tactics as opposed to full scale offensives since losing territory gained in 2014 to Nigerian, Chadian and Nigerien forces over the past few months. It still however has some foothold in the Sambisa forest reserve.