Blast rips through Ashura ceremony in Nigeria, 30 killed

YOBE Nigeria - A suicide bomber blew himself up killing at least 30 people in a Muharram procession taken out to remember the martyrs of Karbala in northeast Nigeria's Yobe state on Monday.

The attacker joined the line of Shia Muslims before setting off his device as they marched through a market in the town of Potiskum, in a territory at the heart of an insurgency by Sunni Muslim Boko Haram rebels, resident Yusuf Abdullahi told Reuters.

"I heard a very heavy explosion as if it happened in my room. It took place just 200 meters from my house," he said. Another person carrying an explosive that did not go off was arrested, he added.

Mohammed Gana, whose brother was killed in the attack, said he counted 23 bodies at the scene.

"We lost 30 of our members in a suicide blast at the end of our Ashura procession," said Mustapha Lawan Nasidi, the head of the Shia community in the city.

The area has been repeatedly attacked by Takfiri militants, including the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Yobe, along with some other regions in Nigeria, has been the scene of numerous terrorist attacks by Takfiri militants of Boko Haram, in the past months. The attacks have left many people dead.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.

Since beginning its operations in 2009, the militant group has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly gun and bomb attacks in various parts of Nigeria which have left more than 10,000 people dead so far.

Human Rights Watch has estimated that over 500 young women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram militants over the past five years.

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