MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – A car bomb in a marketplace in Maiduguri, the northeast Nigerian city that is the birthplace of Boko Haram extremism, killed at least 56 people on Tuesday, the leader of a civilian group that recovered the bodies said.
Sadiq Abba Tijjani, leader of the Civilian Joint Task Force, told the Associated Press that his group recovered at least 56 dead bodies at the blast site, mostly elderly women who sold peanuts and lemon juice at the market.
Tijjani said they managed to identify 21 of the dead, but the rest were either burnt or damaged beyond recognition.
Witnesses and officials blamed Boko Haram extremists who have been accused of a series of bomb attacks in the West African nation. The group, which attracted international attention with its April abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls, has scaled up its activities in recent months.
Maiduguri, a city of more than 1 million, has suffered from many strikes. In March, twin car bombs killed more than 50 people at a late-night market.