At least 13 people including young children were killed when a bomb tore through a venue in northeast Nigeria where fans had gathered to watch a World Cup soccer match, witnesses said.
Some people at the scene told an attacker dropped a device in front of the venue on Tuesday night in the town of Damaturu and ran off, while others said it was the work of a suicide bomber.
No one claimed responsibility for the blast, but Damaturu and the surrounding Yobe state are at the heart of a five-year-old insurgency by Islamist group Boko Haram.
The group was blamed for an attack on another venue screening soccer matches in the northeastern state of Adamawa that killed at least 14 people and wounded 12.
A reporter at Damaturu’s General Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital counted 13 people dead – including small children – and at least 20 wounded.
The Nigerian government has advised people to avoid gathering in public to watch the World Cup, concerned about potential attacks.
Many fans in soccer-mad Africa rely on informal venues – often open-sided structures with televisions set up in shops and side streets – to watch live coverage of the sport.
Boko Haram – whose name roughly translates as “Western education is sinful” – has declared war on all signs of what it sees as corrupting Western influence.
The group has killed thousands in its push to carve out an Islamic state in religiously-mixed Nigeria.