A bomb blast in a Nigerian bus station left at least 40 people dead Thursday. The recent blast brings the death toll in northern Nigeria, on the border with Cameroon, to at least 118 people in the past 72 hours.
Nobody has claimed responsibility for the latest deadly attack, but Boko Haram militants are active in the area and have repeatedly targeted public places, Reuters reported. The bomb explosion at the busy station in the capital of Nigeria’s northeastern province of Adamawa killed at least five soldiers and at least 35 civilians were killed, the news agency said.
“There were bodies everywhere on the ground,” Reuters quoted eyewitness Abubakar Adamu as saying.
It was the third blast in northern Nigeria in the past 48 hours: Two female suicide bombers detonated explosives in the town of Maiduguri, killing 78 people and injuring 50 others Tuesday. The first woman attacked a marketplace, and the second waited until law-enforcement officials and medical personnel had arrived on the scene, CNN reported.
Nigeria’s northeastern province has been under attack by the Salafist militant group Boko Haram since 2009. At least 1,500 people have died since the group began its insurgency.
The militants made international headlines in April when they abducted more than 280 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno state. The kidnapping sparked a global political campaign to rescue the students. The Chibok abduction was “just one in a series of similar kidnappings from schools in northeast Nigeria in recent months,” according to a recent report by the United Nations.
The Islamist extremist group, whose name can be translated as “western education is a sin,” wants to establish an Islamic emirate, a goal similar to those of militant groups such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State group. After the group formerly known as ISIS declared its caliphate this summer, a Boko Haram leader declared his allegiance to Islamic State caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi has yet to formally accept the Nigerian-based militants’ pledge.