Nigeria Bus Station Blast Kills At Least 71

An explosion has ripped through a busy commuter bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital, killing dozens of people as they were travelling to work.

Police said 71 people have been confirmed dead so far, and 124 more were wounded. But the death toll is likely to go up.

Body parts and blood were strewn across the station, as rescue workers scrambled to contain the chaos that followed the attack.

"I saw bodies taken away in open trucks," said witness Yakubu Mohammed.

"It is difficult to count them because the bodies were burnt and in pieces."

The private Channels television network showed thick black smoke rising above the bus station.

The blast destroyed more than 30 vehicles and caused secondary explosions as their fuel tanks exploded and burned.

It hit the Nyanya Bus Park station about five miles (8km) south of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, at rush hour.

"I was waiting to get on a bus when I heard a deafening explosion then saw smoke," said Mimi Daniels, who works in Abuja.

"People were running around in panic".

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion is likely to fall on Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has waged an increasingly bloody insurgency in the northeast.

The terrorist network has been threatening to attack the capital.

Boko Haram - which means "Western education is forbidden" - claimed a 2011 suicide bombing by two explosives-laden cars that drove into the lobby of the United Nations office building in Abuja.

The attack killed at least 21 people and wounded 60.

They have also staged attacks on schools, villages, markets, military bases and checkpoints as it has sought to force an Islamic state in Nigeria.