A Nigerian hospital in the Adamawa state capital is desperately seeking blood donations for the many victims of a presumed Boko Haram bombing at a crowded marketplace. The Federal Medical Centre (FMC) said the hospital’s facilities and supplies were drained after double suicide bombers struck the Jimeta Main Market in Yola and killed at least 31 people on Thursday, according to local media reports.
The dead bodies were taken to the FMC, which was also treating at least 22 others for serious wounds from the blast. The Yola Specialist Hospital had also seen at least 44 people with various degrees of injury since Thursday. The FMC urged the public to donate blood to help the victims, the Nigerian News Agency reported.
Two men staged a fight at the busy market in Yola late Thursday, attracting a number of spectators. But the men had explosives strapped to their bodies that detonated as a people gathered around them. “I can see blood splattered everywhere, including my car, but I can’t give any detail because we are all running,” bread seller Ayuba Dan Mallam told the Associated Press, shortly after the blast.
The suicide bombings were the first in the northeastern Nigerian city. Yola authorities have blamed Boko Haram, which has carried out several attacks in Adamawa state in recent weeks. But no one has claimed responsibility for the blast, according to AP.
Two hours earlier and about 255 miles north of Yola, eight Nigerian soldiers were killed by a suicide car bomb at a checkpoint outside military barracks in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and Boko Haram’s birthplace. More than 60 people have died in attacks by the Islamist militants since the May 29 inauguration of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari , who at the time announced the relocation of the anti-insurgency command center from the capital city Abuja to Maiduguri. Buhari said the command center would remain in Maiduguri until Boko Haram is “completely subdued.”
More than 15,000 people have died since Boko Haram launched its brutal insurgency in northern Nigeria in 2009. Maiduguri and other areas in Borno have been hotbeds for Boko Haram activity. The Nigerian army has recaptured land from the militants in the northeast state, but more than 1.5 million people forced to flee their homes were still living in internal displacement camps as of April.