Kano: At least one person was killed and eight other people injured when a blast ripped through a crowded bus station in Kano, northern Nigeria, police and witnesses said on Thursday.
The explosion happened at about 3:00pm (1400 GMT) at the New Motoron Park in the predominantly Christian Sabon Gari neighbourhood, which has previously been targeted by Boko Haram militants.
"It was an IED (improvised explosive device). The explosive was concealed in a water dispenser and brought into the motor park by unknown people," Kano state police commissioner Adelere Shinaba told reporters at the scene.
"A woman was killed and eight other people were injured and have been taken to hospital... Our forensics experts are combing the scene for clues. We have already commenced (an) investigation."
Shinaba said there was no immediate claim of responsibility and no arrests had been made but Kano -- Nigeria`s second city -- has been hit before by explosions.
On June 23, a bomb blast at a public health college in the city killed at least eight while on May 19, a suicide car bomb attack in Sabon Gari killed at least four people, including a young girl.
At least four strong explosions rocked the same area on July 29 last year, killing 12.
Blame has been attributed to the Islamist militants, who have been waging a violent insurgency in the country`s north since 2009.
In the latest blast, a man who gave his name as Obi and works at a local garage, said: "A young cart pusher (porter) wheeled a water dispenser into the (motor) park and kept it near other luggage waiting to be uploaded into a bus heading to the east.
"The dispenser was given to him by two people at the gates who disguised (themselves) as travellers and asked him to bring it in for them but lagged behind him.
"The (water) dispenser exploded with a huge bang at the time passengers were disembarking from the bus close to the dispenser."
The cart pusher -- a common sight in and around bustling transport hubs in Nigeria -- had his hands and legs blown off while a woman was decapitated, he added.
Another witness, market trader Suleiman Bala, said the device was left among rows of buses and the two suspects disappeared shortly before the blast.
The latest violence came after two bombings in the northern city of Kaduna yesterday left at least 42 people dead and prompted the authorities to introduce a round-the-clock curfew to prevent lawlessness.