A suicide bomber dressed as a student killed at least 48 people, most of them students, at a school assembly in the Nigerian town of Potiskum, Reuters reported.
A hospital official said 79 others were injured.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on Monday in Yobe State, near the rebel stronghold of the Boko Haram Muslim militants.
Angry locals blocked access to the school and a hospital next door, preventing security forces from getting close to the site of the explosion.
Those in the crowd did not want a repeat of what happened last week when members of the security forces fired at residents after a bomb killed nearly 30 people, a police source said.
“So far, the number of the dead is 48, while 79 are injured. I counted the bodies, mostly students and a few teachers,” a nurse at Potiskum General Hospital said.
“A teacher who survived the blast with a minor injury said the bomber dressed like a student and was also on the assembly ground with the students.”
Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks since the Nigerian government announced a ceasefire agreement last month and the imminent release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the group.
The rebel leader denied a ceasefire deal had been reached, and the schoolgirls have not been set free.
The group, whose name means “Western education is sinful” in Hausa, has attacked schools, abducted hundreds of students and killed thousands in its fight for an Islamist state and is seen as the main security threat to Africa’s leading oil producer.
– Contact us at [email protected]