MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — A suicide bomber killed about 10 people at a crowded market early Friday in a blast that thundered across the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, witnesses said.
The region has been pummeled by suicide bombings that have killed hundreds carried out by the Boko Haram Islamic extremists since Nigeria elected a new president who promised to root out the extremists.
Trader Bukar Shettima said the explosion lifted him off his feet and threw him to the ground. "Thank God I was not too close," he said. "But I saw nauseating corpses and battered bodies of humans littering the ground."
A police bomb expert said the bomber was a man, not a woman as had been originally described by witnesses. Both were in a tricycle taxi that exploded at a taxi rank outside Gamboru wholesale vegetable market.
The expert, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to reporters, said he helped collect seven bodies.
Civilian self-defense fighter Kabiru Yaro said he carried away at least 10 corpses. It is difficult to get an exact toll in such attacks because of the numerous body parts.
A suicide bombing at the same market killed at least 20 last month.
Nigeria's military Thursday announced its first major success in weeks: soldiers rescued 71 Boko Haram captives, mostly girls and women, in battles that killed many militants and destroyed their camps in three villages near Maiduguri.
President Muhammadu Buhari this week visited neighboring Cameroon to bolster support for the 8,700-strong, four-nation army to curb the uprising that has spilled across borders. Deployment has been delayed by a lack of funds.
The 6-year-old uprising has killed 20,000 people and driven nearly 2 million from their homes.
This story has been corrected to show that the bomber was male.