A blast has struck a busy textile market in the north Nigerian city of Kano, killing four people and wounding seven others, according to traders and multiple online reports.

The explosion happened on Wednesday in the Kantinkwari market, which is typically packed with crowds of traders, shoppers as well as traffic.

Reports said two female suicide bombers were behind the attack. 

"I heard a huge sound coming from the back of my shop along Unity Road. I just closed the shop and tried to leave because it's not safe," Nura Sadiq, a local trader, told the AFP news agency. 

 

Kano was hit on November 29 by a suspected Boko Haram suicide attack at the city's central mosque.

Two bombers blew themselves up and fighters opened fire on worshippers, killing at least 120 and injuring 270 others in an attack apparently targeting the influential Muslim emir of Kano.

The emir, Muhammad Sanusi II, had previously called for civilians to carry arms and defend themselves against Boko Haram, a group fighting against Western influence and for setting up an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

Kano, the largest city in the north, has been a repeated target for the fighters, who have in recent weeks sought to attack locations outside their northeastern heartland.

In December 2012, four people were injured when a bomb went off outside a mosque near the Kantin Kwari market, which is northern Nigeria's largest for textiles.

That came two years after the market was razed by an overnight fire. More than 500 shops and hundreds of stalls owned by Nigerian, Indian, Chinese and Lebanese traders were destroyed along with their goods.

Nigeria has seen a surge in deadly attacks mainly in the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe where the government has declared a state of emergency to try to rein in Boko Haram fighters who are blamed for the attacks.

Source: Agencies