Death toll from market blast in Nigeria's northeast rises to 45

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 05, 2015 11:41 AM

YOLA, Nigeria (Reuters) - The death toll from a suicide bombing at a market in the northeastern Nigerian town of Yola rose to 45 on Friday, authorities said.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack but it bore the hallmarks of Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The suicide bomber struck at around 1900 GMT (1500 ET) on Thursday in the Jimeta district of Yola, the capital of Adamawa state.

"Ten more people died this morning," police spokesman Othman Abubakar told Reuters, adding to the 35 bodies that a senior policeman, who wanted to remain anonymous, earlier said he had seen at the bomb scene. Around 40 people were wounded, said Abubakar.

Boko Haram has waged a six-year insurgency to try to set up a "caliphate" in the northeast of Africa's biggest oil exporting country, but government counter-offensives this year have retaken much of the territory held by the jihadists.

But bomb attacks have resurged since the inauguration of newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari last week, with 80 people killed in a series of attacks over the past few days.

In his inaugural speech, Buhari - a Muslim - promised to eradicate the "mindless, godless" group and rescue hundreds of women and children held captive by the jihadists, including 200 girls taken from the town of Chibok a year ago.

Buhari visited his counterparts in Niger and Chad earlier this week to discuss strategies against Boko Haram.

The insurgents controlled territory around the size of Belgium at the start of the year, but Nigeria's military, aided by forces from neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, says it has since pushed Boko Haram back to the remote Sambisa forest.

Boko Haram denied any such battlefield reverses in a video aired on social media on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Emma Ande; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Mark Heinrich)