YOLA, Nigeria - Suspected Boko Haram militants kidnapped at least 25 girls in an attack on a remote town in northeastern Nigeria, witnesses to the attack said, despite talks aimed at freeing more than 200 other female hostages the militants seized in April.

John Kwaghe, who witnessed the attack and lost three daughters to the abductors, and Dorathy Tizhe, who lost two, said the attackers came late in the night, forcing all the women to go with them, then later releasing the older ones.

The abductions have not been confirmed by the authorities, but residents say they took place a day after the military announced it had agreed a ceasefire with the Boko Haram group.

The government hopes the militant group will free more than 200 girls seized in April as part of negotiations. Boko Haram has not confirmed the truce.

Following Friday’s ceasefire announcement, the government said further talks with Boko Haram were due to be held this week in neighbouring Chad.

In a separate incident, at least five people were killed in a bomb blast at a bus station in a town in the northern state of Bauchi. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

News of the new abductions came as MPs approved a $1bn (£623m) loan - requested by the president in July - to upgrade military equipment and train more units fighting the north-eastern insurgency. But they asked the finance minister to give the chamber more details about how the external borrowing would be sourced. Security already costs the country close to $6bn, roughly a quarter of the federal budget.

The abduction of the schoolgirls from their boarding school in Borno state sparked a global campaign to pressure the government to secure their release.

Borno is the group’s stronghold. It has been under a state of emergency, along with neighbouring Adamawa and Yobe states, for more than a year.

The villages that were attacked on Saturday - Waga Mangoro and Garta - are close to Madagali and Michika towns, which have been under the control of the militant group for several weeks.

According to people in the area, a large group of insurgents attacked the villages, rounding up women and girls. They forced them to harvest groundnuts on a farm, then abducted those who were teenagers or in their early 20s.

Communication with the affected area is difficult, which is why it takes time for news of attacks to filter out. Other raids by suspected Boko Haram fighters were reported by residents in Adamawa and Borno over the weekend.

Since the state of emergency was declared in May 2013, Boko Haram has taken many women and children hostage and has agreed to some prisoner swaps.

The name Boko Haram translates as “Western education is forbidden”, and the militants have carried out raids on schools and colleges, seeing them as a symbol of Western culture.

Meanwhile, a bomb blast at a bus station in a north Nigeria area previously targeted by Boko Haram killed five people, police said Thursday, in what appeared to be the latest crack in the government’s purported ceasefire with the extremists.

Police in Bauchi state confirmed overnight witness reports of a huge explosion at the terminal in the town of Azare at 9:45 pm (2045 GMT).

Area resident Musa Babale said the blast “shook buildings” and sent locals rushing for shelter.

“The whole place was a mess,” he told AFP after visiting the site late Wednesday.

Bauchi police spokesman Mohammed Haruna said the bomb killed five people, leaving them “burnt beyond recognition,” and that 12 others were injured.

Several witnesses said they believed the bomb had been embedded in a parked car and was detonated remotely, but police did not give details on the nature of the explosive device.

While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Bauchi has been one of the hardest hit areas in Boko Haram’s five-year uprising against the Nigerian state.

Bus station bombings have also become something of a hallmark for the insurgent group after twin attacks at a terminal on the outskirts of the capital Abuja earlier this year killed nearly 100 people.

The station in Azare, a town roughly 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the state capital Bauchi city, is a widely used transit point by travellers coming from Nigeria’s embattled northeast, which has been under a state of emergency since May of last year.

Babale said locals were fortunate the blast went off later at night, as the Azare station is packed with commuters earlier in the evening and the toll could could have been much higher.

Azare saw a series of attacks blamed on Boko Haram through 2012, while Bauchi has been consistently targeted throughout the uprising, including through church bombings, coordinated gun raids and notably a massive prison raid in 2011.

Any indication that the latest explosion was tied to Boko Haram will further undermine the government’s claim to have negotiated a ceasefire with the extremist group.

The surprise deal was announced by the presidency and military on Friday but there are already strong signs that the pact was hollow.

Violence raged through the weekend in the northeast and the credibility of the so-called Boko Haram negotiator has been widely questioned.

A top aide to President Goodluck Jonathan also said the extremists had agreed to release the 219 schoolgirls held hostage since their April 14 abduction in the northeast town of Chibok.

Like with the ceasefire, there has so far been no sign that the hostage release deal is legitimate.

Nigerian negotiators were reportedly set to resume talks with Boko Haram envoys in neighbouring Chad next week, but further questions will likely be asked about the identities of the so-called rebel negotiators.