An unspecified number of people were injured and cars damaged last night when an explosive went off on the busy Aminu Kano Crescent near Banex Plaza in Abuja.
People nearby said the blast happened at about 9pm, and shattered windscreens of many vehicles along the street.
A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency confirmed the blast but said there was no immediate report of casualties.
"About 30 minutes ago (around 9pm) officers of NEMA received an alert over a suspected explosion at a Shopping Mall (Plaza) in Wuse Abuja II," NEMA spokesman Yushau A. Shuaib said in a statement.
He added that rescue workers had arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area around the city's Park & Shop and Banex Plaza.
The statement said there were no immediate reports of casualties and residents were warned against "going to the scene of the bomb explosion for the fear of secondary explosion and to allow emergency responders to have access".
The cause of the suspected blast was not clear.
Motorists driving along the area said police cordoned off the road and stopped all vehicular movement, making it difficult to ascertain the level of damage by the blast.
A witness said he saw at least one man who appeared to have broken a leg in the incident.
"I saw one man with a broken leg and broken glasses everywhere. I saw five cars destroyed by the blast," he said.
He added that the casualty level could be high because there was traffic along the street when the blast happened.
"The sound of the blast was deafening and could be compared to that of the explosion at the Police Headquarters in Abuja last year," he said.
He said the explosion caused panic as motorists and residents of the area run for safety.
Last night's incident came a week after an explosion went off near a popular nightclub in Abuja but recorded no injuries.