At least five people have been killed and 15 others injured in an explosion near a bus station in the northeast Nigerian city of Gombe, witnesses told AFP on Thursday.
“We had an explosion outside the motor park (bus station) this evening around 8:30 pm (1930 GMT) which killed five people and injured 15 others,” said Muhammad Garkuwa, a drivers’ union official.
“The explosion was from an explosive left by a woman in her handbag beside a bus waiting to convey passengers to Jos,” he said.
Yusuf Darazo, who sells food near the bus station supported Garkuwa’s claim. According to him, the female suspect left her bag after being told the bus’s destination.
“No-one suspected her. People around assumed she was making calls before the bus filled up,” he said.
“As she was talking in the phone she moved away from the bus towards a row of kiosks, as if she wanted to buy something, leaving her bag where she was standing.
“She disappeared and the bag exploded soon after, setting the bus on fire. I saw five dead and several injured.”
The attack is the latest in a series of attacks by the Boko Haram fighters who were suspected at the weekend of attacking a number of polling stations in Gombe state as Nigerians went to the polls to elect a new president.
Attacks over the weekend also led to seven deaths in neighbouring Bauchi state, prompting an indefinite round-the-clock curfew, which has now been lifted.
While a coalition of troops from across the region has been successful in dislodging the terrorists from several occupied towns in Nigeria’s northeast, attacks on soft targets like bus stations have continued across the region.
President-elect Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday vowed to crush Boko Haram, vowing to rid Nigeria of the scourge of “terrorism”.