(Updates with death toll, quotes and arrest of two women)
BAUCHI, Nigeria, Feb 12 (Reuters) - A suspected suicide bomber blew herself up in a market in the town of Biu in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state on Thursday, witnesses and a community leader said, killing at least six people.
Borno state is the heartland of militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which has been waging an insurgency for more than five years and wants to establish its own state.
A nurse at Biu General Hospital said six dead bodies were brought in, adding that three of them were “burnt beyond recognition”. A further 17 people were wounded.
Ahmadu Saleh, a witness said the bomber had strolled into Biu Central Market at about 3:30 p.m. (1430 GMT).
“She was wearing a hijab and nobody was suspicious of her intention until we heard a loud sound,” he said.
Community leader Ali Mai Biu and a security source said two other women had been arrested at the scene. The community leader added they were also suspected suicide bombers.
Borno state police commissioner Samuel Aduda did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nigeria’s electoral commission has been forced to delay national elections by six weeks until late March after security chiefs said they could not guarantee security due to the operations to combat Boko Haram. (Reporting by Ardo Abdullah and Lanre Ola; Writing by Julia Payne; Editing by Gareth Jones)