Suicide bombers kill dozens in northeast Nigerian market and mosque

Dozens of people were killed when two suicide bombers detonated their explosives at a mosque and a market in Mubi, northeast Nigeria, residents said.

The explosion happened around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, the Nigerian Television Authority reported Alhaji Musa Bello, chair of the Mubi north local government as saying.

The blasts occurred at the Gwonjo market and a nearby mosque, a local resident named Buba told the NTA.

“We have evacuated dozens of dead and injured people to the hospital and the rescue operation is still ongoing,” AFP reported local volunteer Habu Saleh as saying.

A medical source at the Mubi General Hospital said they had “so far received 37 dead bodies and dozens of injured from the two blast scenes,” and many of the injured were critical and unlikely to survive, AFP reported.

Later, a resident named Muhammad Hamidu said: “I took part in the burial of 68 people. More bodies were being brought by families of the victims.” Another, Abdullahi Labaran, said: “We left 73 freshly dug graves where each victim was buried.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing but Boko Haram has carried out dozens of attacks in the area in recent years. Boko Haram has caused the deaths of at least 20,000 people since it took up arms in 2009.

The group targeted the same town in November, killing 50 people in an attack during morning prayers at a mosque in the Dazala area. According to the Adamawa Police Command, a young boy carried out that attack, the first in three years since Boko Haram was driven from Mubi in 2014.

On Thursday, fighters attempted to overrun the northeastern city of Maiduguri, about 175 km (109 miles) south of Mubi. Boko Haram killed at least 20 people in coordinated attacks on a military camp and villages around Maiduguri on April 2. Four days earlier, four female suicide bombers aged between 13 and 18 killed two people in multiple attacks in Zawuya settlement on the outskirts of Maiduguri in the first assault since the government announced it was in ceasefire talks with Boko Haram.

Boko Haram is divided into two factions that have competing goals and operational methods. One, led by Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi and affiliated with Islamic State, is apparently in talks with the government. The other, led by Abubakar Shekau, is notorious for suicide bombings.

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This story was updated on May 1 to update the death toll.

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