MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – A teenage female suicide bomber blew herself up at crowded bus station in northeast Nigeria on Sunday, killing at least 16 and wounding 30 others.
Most of the victims were children who had either been selling peanuts or begging for money at the time of the explosion, said witnesses.
The girl managed to get through the security check at the entrance to the bus station in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, and detonated herself at 1 p.m. local time.
"It was an eyesore looking at the scene which is littered with chopped flesh and battered bodies of victims," said Hassan Umar. "About 16 bodies were evacuated from the scene while over 30 persons were injured. Most casualties were children hawking sachets of water and peanuts. Some were begging for alms."
The suicide bomber was a teenager, said Umar, who saw her remains.
"The girl that carried out the suicide should be around 16 years old, because her face was a bit matured," said Hassan.
At least eight of the bodies were taken to the mortuary at Damaturu Specialists Hospital, said who spoke to The Associated Press on phone. The worker insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing but it fits the pattern of violence by Boko Haram, Nigeria's homegrown Islamic extremist group that caused an estimated 10,000 deaths last year.
This is the first suicide bombing in Damaturu?, the capital of the Yobe state. The city of about 90,000 people in northeastern Nigeria has suffered several attacks by Boko Haram in past three years.
On Dec. 1 Boko Haram attempted to seize Damuturu, but was repelled after a heated battle with soldiers that resulted in the death of many civilians, soldiers and the insurgents.