KANO, NIGERIA – A bomb exploded at a livestock market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Tuesday, killing at least 50 people, according to a witness.
“We have been helping to evacuate the corpses and I can say over 50 people died from the attack,” Isa Mohammed, a member of a vigilante group, said by phone.
It marked the latest in a string of attacks since Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as president of Africa’s biggest economy on May 29, vowing to defeat militants who have been fighting a six-year insurgency to establish Islamic law. At least 26 people died on May 30 in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque.
The National Emergency Management Agency estimated at least 17 people were killed in Tuesday’s blast and others were wounded, Abdulkadir Ibrahim, a spokesman, said by phone. The midday assault followed loud explosions that woke up residents in the early hours of the morning.
Though a military campaign by Nigeria and neighboring countries this year has scored victories against Boko Haram fighters in the northeast, the group is still carrying out bombings and waging guerrilla warfare. It has killed at least 5,500 people since 2014 in Africa’s biggest oil producer, according to Amnesty International.
The military is continuing to put pressure on the insurgents in their hideout in the Sambisa forest in Borno state, Chief of Naval Staff Rear Adm. Usman Jibrin said after meeting with Buhari.
“With the level of successes being recorded we want to maintain the tempo until they are rooted out,” he told reporters in the capital, Abuja. “We know as we continue to put pressure on them in the Sambisa area, they will try run away from there and then create bombs through the displacement of improvised explosive devices.”
Boko Haram on Tuesday released a video, which it said showed the execution of policemen and civilians. The video published on YouTube couldn’t be independently verified.