More than 30 people have been killed in a bomb blast that ripped through packed crowds in Yola, northeast Nigeria – just days after President Muhammadu Buhari visited declaring that Boko Haram were close to defeat.
The explosion happened on Tuesday night (local time), although it was not immediately clear whether it was caused by a suicide bomber or an improvised explosive device.
"So far, we've recorded about 32 dead and about 80 injured," said Sa'ad Bello, the Yola coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency.
The Red Cross and state police gave a toll of 31 dead and 72 injured.
The blast bore all the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which has previously attacked Yola with suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices in recent months.
Buhari this month was in Yola to decorate soldiers for bravery in the counter-insurgency as well as visit a camp for people displaced by six years of violence that has left at least 17,000 people dead.
He told troops he believed Boko Haram "are very close to defeat" and urged soldiers "to remain vigilant, alert and focused".
Red Cross official Aliyu Maikano and residents said the area targeted was a lorry park which also houses a livestock market, an open-air restaurant and a mosque.
Tuesday's blast was the first in Nigeria this month, indicating the army's strategy to cut off the Islamists' supply lines and target their camps was paying off.
Buhari has set his military commanders a deadline of the end of next month to crush the rebels.
The blast came as Boko Haram was named in the latest Global Terrorism Index as "the most deadly terrorist group in the world", having killed 6644 people last year.
The index, published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, said the Islamic State group, to which Boko Haram has pledged allegiance, killed 6073.