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Dozens Killed in Nigeria Market Blast

Yola, Nigeria

Officials in Nigeria said more than 30 people have been killed in a bomb blast in Yola, the capital of Adamawa state, in Nigeria's northeast where the militant group Boko Haram is active.

Sa'ad Bello of the National Emergency Management Agency said the blast happened late Thursday in the busy Jimeta Market as buyers were doing last-minute shopping for the day. He said at least 31 people died and 38 others were being treated in area hospitals.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the blast, although Boko Haram extremists have carried out similar attacks.

The group has stepped up its attacks in recent days, since new President Muhammadu Buhari announced he is moving the base of anti-Boko Haram operations from the capital, Abuja, to the northeastern city of Maiduguri, known as the birthplace of the Islamist militant group.

Amnesty International report

On Thursday, human rights group Amnesty International said more than 8,000 Nigerians have died as a result of the government's campaign to stamp out the insurgent group.

Amnesty said its researchers found more than 1,200 people have been executed since 2009 during raids by the Nigerian military. It also said at least 7,000 more have died in custody because of torture, thirst, hunger or severe overcrowding in jails.

The rights group said senior military officials had full knowledge of the detentions and high death rate, but took no action to halt the abuses.

Amnesty is calling for Nigeria's new government to launch an investigation.

Dozens of people have died in attacks in Nigeria's northeast since Buhari's inauguration a week ago.

Multinational force

Maiduguri is the largest city in restive northeastern Nigeria, with a population of two million, among them hundreds of thousands of displaced people from other parts of Borno state.

On Tuesday, Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou said in coming weeks, a multinational force to fight Boko Haram will become operational.

Troops from Niger, Chad and Cameroon have been helping Nigeria fight the militant group, which has staged attacks in all three neighboring countries.

More than 1.5 million Nigerians have been displaced by the nearly six-year-old Islamic uprising in Nigeria’s northeast. Amnesty International says the conflict has killed an estimated 17,000 people.

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