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#NigeriaAttack: Bomb blast kills 32 in market

The explosion rocked a fruit & vegetable market beside a main road in the city of Yola.

Nigerian Red-Cross workers carry a body away from the scene of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast at Gomboru market in Maiduguri, 2015 detonated by a female suicide bomber who arrived on a taxi tricycle killings at least eight people and several other. Picture: AFP.

YOLA, NIGERIA - A blast struck a market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Yola on Tuesday evening, killing 32 people and wounding 80 others, both the Red Cross and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said.

The explosion occurred at a fruit and vegetable market beside a main road in the Jimeta area of Adamawa's state capital around 7pm.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the blast bore the hallmarks of militant group Boko Haram which has killed thousands over the last six years in its bid to create a state adhering to strict Sharia law in the northeast.

"Thirty-two people were killed and 80 have been injured," said a Red Cross official who asked not to be named.

NEMA regional spokesman Alhaji Sa'ad Bello later gave the same casualty figures.

Suspected Boko Haram militants have carried out attacks in neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon in recent weeks but have not struck northeastern Nigeria since late October when bombings in Yola and Maiduguri left at least 37 people dead.

"The ground near my shop was covered with dead bodies. I helped to load 32 dead bodies into five vehicles," said witness Alhaji Ahmed, who owns a shop in the market.

A Reuters witness said he saw eight ambulances being used to carry casualties away for treatment.

Suspected members of Boko Haram have killed around 1,000 people since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May, vowing to crush the militant group.

Since losing most of the territory they took over earlier this year to the Nigerian army, the militants have focused attacks on markets, bus stations and places of worship, as well as hit-and-run attacks on villages.

FACEBOOK ACTIVATES SAFETY CHECK

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the social network had activated a Safety Check feature in Nigeria after the bombing.

In a post on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg wrote:

"We've activated Safety Check again after the bombing in Nigeria this evening.

After the Paris attacks last week, we made the decision to use Safety Check for more tragic events like this going forward. We're now working quickly to develop criteria for the new policy and determine when and how this service can be most useful.

Unfortunately, these kinds of events are all too common, so I won't post about all of them. A loss of human life anywhere is a tragedy, and we're committed to doing our part to help people in more of these situations.

In times like this, it's important to remind ourselves that despite the alarming frequency of these terrible events, violence is actually at an all-time low in history and continues to decline.

Deaths from war are lower than ever, murder rates are generally dropping around the world, and -- although it's hard to believe -- even terrorist attacks are declining.

Please don't let a small minority of extremists make you pessimistic about our future.

Every member of our community spreads empathy and understanding on a daily basis. We are all connecting the world together. And if we all do our part, then one day there may no longer be attacks like this."