At least 48 people were killed in suicide bombings on Monday, December 28 in two cities in Northern Nigeria where the jihadist Boko Haram group is waging a six-year campaign to create an Islamic state, officials and residents said.
The first blast took place at a mosque in a Maiduguri suburb where the army had exchanged fire on Sunday with suspected Boko Haram fighters who it said had tried to slip into the town to carry out suicide bombings.
FLASH: Some 25 persons killed in a suicide attack on a mosque this morning in Maiduguri— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) December 28, 2015
"We all fled yesterday as our houses were on fire. This morning we came back, and while we were counting the people who had burned in the houses, another bomb exploded"
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the blasts bore the hallmarks of the group, whose insurgency has killed thousands and displaced some 2.1 million people in the region.
Around 20 people were killed and 91 wounded, said Mohammed Kanar, a local official in the national relief agency NEMA.
Musa Abdukadir, an eyewitness said he had counted more than 50 bodies in the hospital after the blast.
South of Borno in Madagali in Adamawa state two female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a crowded meat and fish market, killing many people, according to Victor Ezegwu, another army commander. At least 30 people were wounded.
An army counter-offensive earlier this year recaptured most of the territory Boko Haram had seized over the past few years.