Explosion kills dozens in Nigeria; Boko Haram blamed

(File) (Justin Setterfield, Getty Images)
(File) (Justin Setterfield, Getty Images)
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Updated: 7/01 2:08 pm

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Eyewitnesses said they saw about 50 bodies after a car bomb explosion Tuesday, in a market in a northeastern Nigerian city. And the blast is being blamed on Boko Haram -- the organization that has made plenty of headlines lately.

Vigilantes in the area said at least 56 people were killed in the explosion.

Witnesses say the explosives were hidden under a load of charcoal in a pickup van. The explosion reduced stalls, goods and vehicles to piles of rubble.

One trader who works near the market said the bomb went off just after the market opened, before most traders or customers had arrived. The trader said security forces cordoned off the area but had a hard time keeping people out, even though they warned there could be additional explosions targeting rescue efforts.

The city of Maiduguri was the birthplace of the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group, which is being blamed for the attack. The extremists have been accused of a series of recent bomb attacks in the West African nation, as well as the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in April.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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