A female suicide bomber on Saturday blew herself up in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, killing three people and injuring several others, residents said.
The incident in the Dala Yazaram area of the city happened a day after at least 55 people were killed in attacks in the northeast, including 28 in Maiduguri.
A local resident said he saw two female suicide bombers enter the neighbourhood of Dala Yazaram, some six kilometres (four miles) from the city but one of them was stopped by people nearby while the other blew herself up.
“Three people have been killed and many injured. One of the terrorists was arrested before she could detonate,” resident Shuaibu Umara, a security guard at a nearby NNPC petrol station, told AFP.
A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said one person, a member of the civilian vigilante group assisting the military in the fight against Boko Haram, was killed and 10 injured in the blast.
“Four female suicide bombers at about 7:45am today in the morning attempted to enter a Dala Ajeri area of Maiduguri but were intercepted by the civilian JTF (joint military task force),” Sani Datti said in a statement.
“Three of the female suicide bombers detonated the explosions in their bodies immediately and the fourth one was intercepted but later died,” he said.
He said six of the injured had been treated and discharged from the hospital.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the blast, immediate suspicion fell on the Islamist group Boko Haram.
Maiduguri has now been hit seven times this month, killing a total of 79 people, according to an AFP tally, underscoring an increased risk to civilians after similar strikes in neighbouring states and near the capital, Abuja.
On Friday, two separate explosions ripped through two mosques in Maiduguri and nearby Yola, capital of Adamawa state, leaving at least 55 people dead and more than 100 injured.
The explosion in Yola’s Jambutu Juma’at mosque took place shortly after the imam had finished a sermon to inaugurate the new mosque.
NEMA Adamawa coordinator Sa’ad Bello said on Saturday the death toll had risen to 30 from 27 on Friday.
“The death toll now stands at 30 following the death of three injured victims in hospitals while 93 are injured,” he said.
Residents said the interior was still littered with shoes, prayer mats and worshippers’ other belongings.
Yola has been seen as a relatively safe haven from the Boko Haram insurgency, which has ravaged the northeast for the last six years.
Boko Haram, which seeks to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria, has regularly targeted mosques and religious leaders who do not share their extremist ideology.
Nigeria’s military has claimed a series of successes against the jihadists.
President Muhammadu Buhari has given his military commanders until December to end the insurgency, which has left at least 17,000 people dead and more than 2.5 million homeless since 2009.