"I heard a loud blast, it shattered the windows of the shop. We ran out. A lot of people ran too, some with blood stains," said Gimbya Jafaru, who was shopping nearby.


The blast came as the area was packed with shoppers and rush-hour commuters, an emergency services source said.

"This thing happened at a peak period," the source said, estimating that around 40 cars had been badly damaged.

Soon after the blast, emergency services were on the scene and the police and army had blocked off the surrounding area, a Reuters reporter on the scene said. A haze of smoke lingered over the area as the bomb squad combed the area for explosives.

Separately, a roadside bomb blew up in the northeastern Adamawa state, although no one was injured in that explosion, local police spokesman Othman Abubakar said

Nigeria has been hit by almost daily bomb and gun attacks, which are widely suspected to be the work of Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The insurgents, who are trying to carve out an Islamist state in the north, have been increasingly moving beyond their traditional base in rural northeast Nigeria.