Kano: A bomb blast at a bus station in a north Nigeria area previously targeted by Boko Haram killed five people, police said on Thursday, in what appeared to be the latest crack in the government's purported ceasefire with the Islamists.
Police in Bauchi state confirmed overnight witness reports of a huge explosion at the terminal in the town of Azare at 9:45 pm .
Area resident Musa Babale said the blast "shook buildings" and sent locals rushing for shelter.
"The whole place was a mess," he told after visiting the site late Wednesday.
Bauchi police spokesman Mohammed Haruna said the bomb killed five people, leaving them "burnt beyond recognition," and that 12 others were injured.
Several witnesses said they believed the bomb had been embedded in a parked car and was detonated remotely, but police did not give details on the nature of the explosive device.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Bauchi has been one of the hardest hit areas in Boko Haram's five-year uprising against the Nigerian state.
Bus station bombings have also become something of a hallmark for the insurgent group after twin attacks at a terminal on the outskirts of the capital Abuja earlier this year killed nearly 100 people.
The station in Azare, a town roughly 200 kilometres from the state capital Bauchi city, is a widely used transit point by travellers coming from Nigeria's embattled northeast, which has been under a state of emergency since May of last year.
Babale said locals were fortunate the blast went off later at night, as the Azare station is packed with commuters earlier in the evening and the toll could could have been much higher.
Azare saw a series of attacks blamed on Boko Haram through 2012, while Bauchi has been consistently targeted throughout the uprising, including through church bombings, coordinated gun raids and notably a massive prison raid in 2011.
Any indication that the latest explosion was tied to Boko Haram will further undermine the government's claim to have negotiated a ceasefire with the extremist group.