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Explosion kills 16 in Maiduguri

Nigerian authorities say more than 20 people were injured in the blast.

FILE: No group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion. Picture: AFP.

NIGERIA - At least 16 people have been killed in an explosion at a market in Nigeria's North-Eastern city of Maiduguri.

Details of the explosion are still sketchy but Maiduguri is often bombed as it lies in the middle of an insurgency by Boko Haram militants.

Authorities say more than 20 people were injured in the blast.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Meanwhile, Chad's prime minister is appealing for international aid for thousands of Nigerian refugees who have fled attacks by militants across the border into the Lake Chad region.

This follows the attacks on the border town of Baga in Borno State.

Prime Minister Kalzeubet Pahimi said that about 2,000 Nigerians and 500 Chadians crossed the border into Chad in recent days, joining around 1,000 Nigerians who arrived some months ago.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) added that the Chadian Red Cross and other groups conducted an evaluation mission during the week to the area where the refugees are located and distributed supplies including soap, tarpaulins, biscuits and jerry cans.

The UNHCR puts the total figure of Nigerian refugees in Chad at more than 5,000.