MAIDUGURI/ABUJA — Gunmen set off explosives and fired on a cattle market in remote northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 56 people, a nurse who received bodies in the local hospital said yesterday. The police commissioner put the number of dead at 34.
It was not clear who was behind the attack on Wednesday night in the town of Potiskum, in Yobe state, which has been an occasional target for Boko Haram. “I have counted 56 bodies at the morgue and I am sure that the death toll could rise in view of the serious nature of injuries sustained,” the nurse at Potiskum hospital, who gave his name as Babangida, said.
“The Potiskum mortuary is made up of a room and a parlour and I counted the 56 in the parlour only. I didn’t go into the inner room.” Police Commissioner Moses Namiri said security forces had confirmed 34 killed and that Boko Haram was suspected to be behind the attack.
“Everybody knows the modus operandi of BH (Boko Haram): they threw explosives and used guns,” he said. “The gunfire lasted for almost an hour.” Witness Mama Yusuf, a retired civil servant, said there were dead bodies on the ground, though he could not say how many. — Reuters