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56 die after car bomb blast in Nigeria market: group

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria--A car bomb in a marketplace in Maiduguri, the northeast Nigerian city that is the birthplace of Boko Haram extremism, killed at least 56 people on Tuesday, the leader of a civilian group that recovered the bodies said.

Sadiq Abba Tijjani, leader of the Civilian Joint Task Force, told the Associated Press his group recovered at least 56 dead bodies at the blast site, mostly elderly women who sold peanuts and lemon juice at the market.

Tijjani said they managed to identify 21 of the dead but the rest “were either burnt or damaged beyond recognition.”

Other witnesses also estimated the death toll to around 50. Some officials said only 17 people died in the explosion that ripped through the market early Tuesday, but officials regularly play down the death toll.

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