The explosion occurred at about 7.10am in the Bulumkutu area just in front of Shehu Elkanemi College.
According to a witness who spoke to our correspondent, the vehicle exploded on traffic and there were two people inside the car.
He also clarified that the blast was from a popular commercial tricycle, Keke, which was riding behind a packed police patrol vehicle.
The witness said it was likely that all occupants of the Keke and the police vehicle were dead. A resident of the area, Mallam Sheriff, confirmed the incident.
“Yes, we just heard a large explosion from the direction of the area and I can see many ambulances and military vehicles heading in the direction. God help us,” he said.
According to another witness, Abraham Mshelia, a tricycle attempted to ram into a vehicle that just came out of Borno Motor Garage, the biggest in the town.
Mshelia, who claimed he was near the scene of the incident, said the tricyclist waited for the bus to come out from the garage, adding that immediately the bus drove out, the tricyclist sped after it but could not catch up before exploding few kilometer away.
“I was at the motor park to board a vehicle when the explosion occurred. The park is near the SSS office and a tricycle was targeting a bus that just left the motor park but triggered off the explosion before the tricycle could get to bus.
Four people including the bomber were killed,” Mashelia said. Ibrahim Audu, who said he escaped death by a whisker, stated that he was in another tricycle just about 500 metres from the spot of the blast.
“I saw three dead bodies being evacuated from the scene about 20 minutes after the arrival of emergency and rescue workers. Three other persons were assisted to the hospital,” he said.
In the meantime, the death toll in the bomb blast that rocked Maiduguri on Wednesday has risen to eight, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, said.
A police statement, earlier, said five people were killed when a Volkswagen golf car loaded with passengers exploded outside a crowded car.
An operative of the Civilian-JTF, Dan-Batta, had also told journalists that they picked only six bodies and four injured persons from the scene.
“We have evacuated six dead bodies and four injured persons from the scene and the injured were already taken to the State Specialists Hospital here in Maiduguri,” he said.
“We cannot say if it was suicide bombing car or it has persons carrying explosives as passengers,” said Mr. Dan-Batta. “But most of the persons that died may have been the passengers; though their bodies were thrown around the shattered vehicle.”
But a statement by NEMA’s spokesperson, Sani Datti, said eight people were killed and 15 were injured.
The NEMA statement reads:
“A total of 8 persons lost their lives and 15 injured in the explosion that occurred early this morning at Muna motor park, Maiduguri, Borno State.
“The rescue team of National Emergency Management Agency promptly responded to the incident and evacuated the injured persons and the bodies of the dead victims to University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and Borno State Specialist Hospital.
“The explosion occurred outside the park, located in the outskirt of the town and is used by motorists that carry passengers to the Dikwa, Gamboru Ngala axis of the state.” NEMA said.