|The main gate to the Monday Market is closed on March 7, 2015 after a blast in Maiduguri. (AFP Photo / Ptunji Omirin)|
“We’ve received 50 dead bodies from the blast scenes and 36 injured people,” Salisu Kwaya Bura, Chief Medical Officer of Borno Specialists Hospital, told reporters as cited Reuters. “The state government has directed the treatment for the injured persons to be free.”
However, no exact figures for the number of people killed and injured have so far been confirmed. According to the latest updates from police, a total of 58 people died and about 139, including many children, sustained injuries, AP reported. At the same time, other sources have put the death toll at 54 and a number of wounded at 143.
Another blast near Monday Market Maiduguri. pic.twitter.com/qnQJYXooXN
— Ahmed Usman (@AlhazaAhmed) March 7, 2015
It has been also reported that there was a string of bombings across the city. Up to five explosions targeted different areas of Maiduguri, the largest city in northeastern Nigeria, one after another. The first explosions rocked Baga fish market, located near a crowded market named"Monday Market" which has evolved into a daily market, around midday. The Baga bombing appears to have been the deadliest of the five attacks; 36 deaths were reported there.
“The bomb was devastating because it occurred in a crowded area,” Jamuna Jarmi, a grocery seller, told the local Vanguard News. Witnesses claimed it was carried out by a female suicide bomber who arrived in a motor rickshaw.
The terrorist attack was followed by another suicide bombing, also near the Monday Market, just an hour later. The witnesses reported a bomb exploded near Post Office shopping area causing numerous casualties. Shortly afterwards, the Monday Market itself was also was targeted by female suicide bombers, who detonated bombs killing dozens of people around them.
According to a trader, who spoke to the BBC, one of the bombers had a bomb strapped to her body, while another one was carrying a bag containing an explosive. The fourth attack hit in the busy Borno Express bus terminal. A witness managed to count about 12 lying bodies but was unsure if they were dead or injured.
According to Danlami Ajaokuta, a vigilante leader, the security forces ordered the closure of all shops in the city, fearing more attacks could follow. The latest attack took place at a checkpoint in about 80 km from Maiduguri. Three people were wounded as a bomb hidden in a car exploded.
No militant organization has taken responsibility for the attacks, but Boko Haram is primarily under suspicion as the group sees Maiduguri as its strategic goal.