UPDATED: Bomb blast hits Maiduguri again

Maiduguri was on Monday hit by a bomb explosion.

A civilian vigilante assisting the military against Boko Haram who witnessed the incident said the bomb went off at about 3:50pm

Heavy casualties were feared after the explosion near a fish market in the Baga Road area of the city, said vigilante Danlami Ajaokuta.

“We heard a loud explosion while we were preparing for afternoon prayers,” he said.

“It happened right inside the motor park (bus station) attached to the fish market where labourers were sorting out rice.”

Ajaokuta’s account was corroborated by a local resident, who asked not to be identified for security reasons. He said he was using a nearby cash machine when the blast happened.

“I saw people running towards the scene of the blast,” he added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion but Boko Haram extremists have frequently targeted civilians at markets and bus stations during their six-year insurgency.

Maiduguri has increasingly come under attack in the weeks since new President Muhammadu Buhari took office on May 29, vowing to wipe out the Islamists.

There have been four attacks in the city this month. Two have been by suicide bombers and one targeted a cattle market.

On June 3, an improvised explosive device left outside a motor mechanics’ workshop killed 18 while on May 30, 26 people were killed in a suicide attack at a city mosque.

In all, some 181 people have been killed in Boko Haram attacks since Buhari’s inauguration, according to AFP’s count.

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