At least five people have been killed and dozens wounded, when a young female suicide bomber detonated herself outside a market in the northeast Nigerian town of Potiskum in Yobe State, witnesses said.

"The lady refused to be checked at the gate to the market and an argument ensued," witness Ibrahim Maishago told Reuters by telephone on Sunday.

"She let off the bomb, killing herself and five others, while many were injured."

Resident Bala Potiskum said he saw dozens of wounded being rushed to hospital after the blast.

Both witnesses described the bomber as a "small girl", estimating that she could not have been more than eight years old.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the armed group Boko Haram has been carrying attacks across the country.

Boko Haram, which opposes western influence and education, has been fighting the government since 2009 to establish an Islamic state in the northeast of the country.

The group appears to be on the run in many parts of Nigeria and regions near its borders, but it continues to carry out attacks inside the country as well as neighbouring Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

Source: Reuters