A suspected car bomb ripped through a crowded entertainment spot in the north Nigerian city of Kano on Sunday, witnesses said.
Four people were killed, including a young girl, in the suicide car bomb attack, the Kano State police commissioner said.
“At about 2200 (2100 GMT), we heard an explosion and immediately mobilised to the scene where we discovered a suicide bomber…five people, including the bomber, were killed,” Adelere Shinaba told reporters, adding that the victims were “three men and a girl of about 12″.
Shinaba said it was too early to say who was responsible for the attack, which happened in the busy Sabon Giri district of the city.
Locals also said the blast was on a busy road lined with bars in the predominantly Christian area of Sabon Gari, and the blast could be heard several kilometres away, Channels television said 10 people had been killed.
A Reporter said the charred and mangled remains of five cars could be seen outside one of the many bars and eateries on the now deserted street, which was dimly lit because of power cuts.
A Volkswagen Golf said by police to have been used by the bomber, was ripped into three pieces, with its engine resting on the roadside.
Windows on the two-storey buildings lining the street were smashed and armed police and soldiers stood guard.
The blast happened at about 9:30 pm (2030 GMT) when the area was crowded with revellers as well as street hawkers and traders.
Witnesses claimed that a car was left in the Middle Road area of Sabon Giri and its driver left on a motorbike. The blast happened soon afterwards.
Kano is Nigeria’s second-most populous city and a commercial centre for the whole of the Muslim-majority north.
Local government elections were held in Kano on Saturday, at which the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) routed the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of President Goodluck Jonathan, winning all 44 seats.
The PDP alleged irregularities and said it would challenge the result, local newspapers said.
Links were made on social networking sites to the local election but the explosion also came a day after Nigeria and its neighbours announced a regional response to the threat by Boko Haram Islamists.
The militant group has been holding 223 of 276 girls it kidnapped from a school in the town of Chibok, in northeastern Borno state, on April 14, which has led to an international response to find them. [AFP]