Abuja: Two female suicide bombers detonated their improvised explosive devices at a phone market in Nigeria’s northwestern Kano state on Wednesday, killing at least 50 people, said witnesses and security sources.
Kano state police chief Musa Katsina, who was at the scene of the incident, confirmed the incident to Xinhua but declined to give the official figures of casualty. He said investigation has been launched into the attacks.
The bombs went off as people gathered for evening prayer at the market, said Saleem Ahmed Saleem, a witness, who counted more than 50 lifeless bodies littering the market.
“People had gathered in groups for ablution, ahead of the evening prayer, when the first bomb went off and was quickly followed by another,” the witness said.
Another witness identified as Mohammed Garba said the first bomb went off at the market entrance while a second explosion followed almost immediately at the centre of the market.
Given that the market was usually crowded, more casualties might be discovered during the rescue operation, Garba said.
A team of security and rescue agents who arrived the scene shortly after the incident had a hectic time controlling the crowd inside the market, one of the largest in Kano. A rescue operation began shortly after.
A female trader identified as Hajia Maikudi said dozens of bodies were packed into body bags and taken in three trucks to a health facility nearby.
The twin blasts occurred less than a day after 34 people were killed and 80 others injured in a similar attack at a market in Yola, capital of the northeastern state of Adamawa, on Tuesday.
Boko Haram, a Nigeria-based terror group suspected to be behind the attacks, has since 2009 waged a campaign of violence in Nigeria in an effort to establish an Islamic state.
It has killed some 13,000 people and kidnapped hundreds, with surrounding countries such as Niger, Chad and Cameroon affected.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has given a December deadline for the army to end the Boko Haram insurgency.