At least two people were killed in a suspected suicide bomb attack on a university campus in northeast Nigeria, a local resident, a lecturer and emergency services told AFP on Monday.
The blast happened at 5:25 am (0425 GMT) at a mosque in the staff quarters area of the University of Maiduguri and is thought to have been carried out by a teenage girl.
Suspicion will likely fall on the Islamist group Boko Haram, which has repeatedly used young women and girls as human bombs to target worshippers.
There were reports locally of a separate explosion but details were not immediately available.
“At exactly 5:25 am, while I was leaving the mosque in my neighbourhood, I heard two explosions,” said one local resident, who asked not to be identified.
“I rushed to the university, which is not far from my house. On entering, I saw the mosque in a mess. Three people lay dead, including a young girl, whose body was badly mutilated.
“Thirteen other worshippers were injured.”
A university lecturer who lives on site confirmed the resident’s account.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) tweeted: “A #bomb exploded at the #mosque at the University of #Maiduguri during early morning prayers. Rescue operations ongoing…”
Access to the university campus has been strictly controlled, with checkpoints and searches at the gates.
But the site, on one of the main thoroughfares leading in to and out of the city, is vast and most areas are badly lit.
At least 20,000 people have been killed in the conflict since it began in 2009 and more than 2.6 million others made homeless.
Nigeria maintains the insurgency is in its final stages.
Last month said it had flushed out Boko Haram fighters from their stronghold in the Sambisa Forest area of Borno state, of which Maiduguri is the capital.
Yet there has been no let-up in attacks both on troops and civilians. On January 8, at least five soldiers were killed when rebels targeted a base in Buni Yadi, in neighbouring Yobe state.
The following day, suicide bombers killed three in Maiduguri.