According to reports, Malam Ibrahim Mohammed, an orange seller, who witnessed the incident, told newsmen that the bomb exploded at exactly 5.20 pm, and just a few meters away from the scene, another bomb exploded.
According to him, the number of dead bodies he saw was between 47 and 50, so were mutilated parts of human bodies.
Another witness, a member of the Nigeria Red Cross Society, who pleaded anonymity, said the society counted about 48 dead bodies and the corpses were deposited at the mortuaries of the Specialist Hospital and Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe.
Mr Kudu Nma, the state Commissioner of Police, who confirmed the incident to newsmen, said, “there was a bomb blast either on a suicide mission or EIDs were kept somewhere, with the view to causing panic and apprehension to people.”
He said the bomb exploded at the central market Sabon Layi, where they sell slippers and clothes.
“People were busy shopping, preparatory to Sallah festival. The casualties are yet to be ascertained. As you can see, people are busy working, trying to save lives. For now, we cannot tell you the number of casualties,” Nma said.
He said the police had cordoned off the place to avoid looting, adding that calm had been restored to the place.
By Patrick Aigbokhan