A female suicide bomber has blown herself up at a mobile phone market in northeast Nigeria, killing at least 13 people, police have said.
The attack happened in the town of Azare in Bauchi state, which neighbours the three states worst hit by attacks by the armed Boko Haram group.
“So far, 13 persons were confirmed dead while 65 others sustained various degrees of injuries” Haruna Mohammed, Bauchi state police spokesman, said in a statement.
“A suicide bomber came into the market as it was closing and blew herself up in the middle of all the merchants and their customers,” a witness told the AFP news agency.
Residents said the bomber entered the market accompanied by two men, one of whom was killed by an angry mob after the deadly blast.
“The two men tried to flee but they were pursued and apprehended. One of them was lynched to death whereas the other is now in custody,” a witness, Alyu Habib, told AFP.
The attack near Azare’s stadium was the third bombing in the town in recent weeks.
Last week, a bomb concealed in a bag went off near a cash dispensing machine, killing several people. On October 23, a bombing near a bus station killed at least five people.
Earlier on Sunday, the Nigerian army said it recaptured and secured the northeastern town of Chibok, where Boko Haram rebels kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in April.
Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from Abuja, said a local official and local vigilantes, who participated in the operation, confirmed to him the town was re-taken on Saturday evening.
Boko Haram had captured the town on Thursday after a battle lasting several hours. Several inhabitants said the army had fled the assault on Thursday, leaving the vigilantes to fight on their own.
Control of Chibok is crucial to the reputation of the army and the government, both of which have come under harsh criticism for their failure to rescue the schoolgirls.
The rebels stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok on the evening of April 14 and forced 276 students onto trucks in a mass abduction that caused global outrage. Fifty-seven managed to escape.
The rebellion by Boko Haram, which wants to create an Islamic state in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria, has claimed more than 10,000 lives in the past five years.
They have seized more than 20 towns and villages in the northeast in recent months.