Two schoolgirl suicide bombers killed 30 people and wounded dozens in a coordinated attack on a crowded market in the northeastern Nigerian town of Madagali, an army spokesman said.
The attack on Madagali, which was recaptured by Nigerian forces from Boko Haram fighters in 2015, was carried out by two female school children, according to military spokesman major Badare Akintoye.
“They detonated two bombs at the same time killing 30 people and they also died,” he told AFP news agency.
“At least 30 people have been killed in the suicide blasts carried out by two female suicide bombers in the market. Several people have been injured in the attack.”
Ahmadu Gulak, a driver who was buying tea at the market, said the two blasts struck simultaneously on Friday morning at opposite ends of a grains and vegetable market.
He saw many wounded taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Akintoye said 57 people were also wounded in the bombings in Adamawa state.
“The two bombers were disguised as customers, detonated their suicide belts at the section of the market selling grains and second-hand clothing,” said Yusuf Muhammad, the chairman of Madagali local government.
Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from the Nigerian capital of Abuja, said Friday was not the first time Madagali was attacked.
A bus station near the same market was targeted by two female suicide bombers who killed at least 30 people in December 2015. In June, Boko Haram fighters opened fire on mourners at a funeral in Madagali, killing 18 people.
“Since the town was retaken by the Boko Haram army more than a year ago, it has been attacked three times,” Idris said.
He added that Friday’s attack seemed to have aimed to cause maximum damage as it targeted the busiest sections of the market on the busiest day of the week.
“Today’s attack was expected because if the military made significant advance against Boko Haram in Sambisa Forest as they claimed, they have dislodged a lot of the group’s fighters and they have dispersed in the surrounding communities like Madagali,” he said.
Boko Haram have not immediately claimed responsibility for the attack that took place on the edge of the group’s Sambisa Forest stronghold, which Nigeria’s military has been bombing ahead of ground assaults.
Boko Haram’s seven-year uprising has killed more than 20,000 people and forced 2.6 million from their homes.