A car bomb has exploded at a crowded bus stop in the northeast Nigerian city of Gombe, killing at least eight people and wounding 34 others, witnesses have said.

 

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Friday's blast, but the armed group Boko Haram has been blamed for a string of bomb attacks in the region this year. Gombe has rarely been attacked.

"It just happened, and our men and the security agencies are on the scene dealing with the fallout," an emergency services official told the Reuters news agency. The military was not immediately available for comment.

One witness, Godfrey Anebo, said he saw emergency services pull eight people from the wreckage, all of whom appeared to be dead.

"I am not sure what the death toll will be at the end but it will shoot up very high because the bus stop was very full of commuters," Anebo said.

Multiple witnesses told the AFP news agency the men entered the station in one vehicle and then dropped bags packed with explosives between the buses which were filling up with travellers. 

Mubi under siege

The government announced a ceasefire with Boko Haram nearly two weeks ago as part of efforts to negotiate the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the group in April. But violence has soared since.

The fighters, who have been working to carve out an Islamic state in the region, seized control of the northeast Nigerian town of Mubi on Wednesday and Thursday, robbing banks, burning down houses, killing dozens of people and forcing thousands to flee, witnesses said.

Men were seen hoisting their black flag over the palace of the traditional ruler in Mubi, the witnesses said.

One person told Reuters they saw fighters from the group kill a university lecturer and his entire family.

Source: Agencies