At least 20 people were killed on Monday when a young female suicide bomber detonated her explosives at a bus station in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, in an attack likely to be blamed on Boko Haram.
The blast happened near a fish market in the Baga Road area of the city, which has been repeatedly targeted in recent weeks by shelling, bombs and suicide attacks.
“We heard a loud explosion while we were preparing for afternoon prayers,” said Danlami Ajaokuta, a civilian vigilante assisting the military against Boko Haram.
“It happened right inside the motor park (bus station) attached to the fish market where labourers were sorting out rice.”
He said that according to survivors’ accounts, a woman came into the bus station with a casserole dish, shouting out for customers.
“People were occupied with sorting the rice. No one paid any attention.
“Suddenly, the casserole, which obviously contained explosives, went off. She was blown to pieces... We have sorted out 20 dead bodies and 50 others that were injured.”
Ajaokuta’s account was supported by a labourer working at the scene who survived the blast, which sent people running in all directions in fear and panic.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2015.
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