Two explosions have ripped through a market in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, witnesses said, nearly a week after two female suicide bombers attacked the same area, killing more than 45 people.
“A middle-aged woman approached the site where chicken sellers attend to customers but vigilantes who stood nearby insisted on checking the luggage she was carrying,” witness Ahmad Sanusi told the AFP news agency on Monday.
“The woman refused, arguing that what she held were her wares. While the argument ensued, some people gathered at the scene and that was when she detonated the explosive,”Sanusi said.
Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh, reporting from the capital Abuja, said she spoke to a witness who said he saw at least five bodies.
“He said there were lot of decapitated bodies scattered around the area. Shops in the area and markets were destroyed and people were being taken to the hospital,” she said.
The Monday Market was hit last Tuesday by two women who detonated explosives hidden under their hijabs. The same market was attacked on July 1 and at least 15 people died.
A police bomb squad on Friday defused a suspected remote-controlled improvised explosive device buried in the dirt near another market in Maiduguri.
Boko Haram fighters were suspected and it was thought the bomb was intended to hit worshippers at a local mosque.
Two suspected female suicide bombers were arrested in Maiduguri last week.
It was not immediately clear whether the woman in Monday’s incident was a suicide bomber or if she was merely carrying explosives hidden in her luggage.
Another witness named Goni Abba reported a second explosion just seconds after the first. Nearby buildings were destroyed and there were reports of deaths and injuries, he added.
There was no immediate official confirmation of fatalities but the police, army and Red Cross were at the scene.
Monday’s attack came hours after explosions and gunfire rocked the northeastern city of Damaturu in Yobe state, in a suspected Boko Haram attack that targeted police officers.
A local source confirmed to Al Jazeera that gunmen believed to be Boko Haram fighters attacked the Yobe state University in Damaturu and other targets Damaturu early on Monday morning.
The fighters came from the bush and opened fire, according the witnesses.
The military engaged them but the gunfire later moved away from the university and into the bush as Nigerian troops chased the fighters.
Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states have bore the brunt of Boko Haram attacks, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency, which has been in place since May 2013. Al Jazeera