Two suicide bombings by women have killed at least 30 in the Nigerian town of Maiduguri in what is suspected to be an attack by Boko Haram.
Twin suicide bombings have killed at least 30 in the Nigerian town of Maiduguri in what is suspected to be an attack by Boko Haram. The attack hit the main marketplace in the city.
Local news sites reported that the suicide bombers were women wearing hijabs. The first bomb exploded, killing three, with the second one coming shortly afterwards and killing many more who rushed to help. The attacks took place at around 11 am local time.
An eyewitness, Sani Adamu told Reuters “While the people were trying to help the injured the second bomb blasted.” Although there is as yet no official death toll, local health worker Dogara Shehu said there were “45 people killed, some of them completely decapitated.”
The area was cordoned off by security forces while emergency services evacuated the wounded to hospital. Nigerian police have not yet issued an official statement on the attack.
Boko Haram also seized the town of Damasak in the far north. Maina Ma'aji Lawan represents Borno State in the Nigerian Senate and spoke to AFP by telephone. He said that soldiers and civilians alike fled the militants as soon as they began firing on traders at the marketplace on Monday. He said, “There is not a single male in Damasak. Boko Haram is in control because all males and soldiers have fled. No one expects women to fight them.”
Last week suspected Boko Haram militants stormed two villages in northern Nigeria and massacred their inhabitants. On Friday, they drove into Doron Baga near the border with Chad on motorbikes and proceeded to shoot villagers and slit their throats, killing at least 50. On Wednesday, militants killed at least 45 in the village of Azaya Kura.
Boko Haram has been waging a brutal insurgency against the Nigerian government since 2009. The group seeks to impose its hardline interpretation of Islam over the areas it controls and carve out a state in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north. They captured the attention of the world earlier this year when they kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from Chibok. Many of the girls were later forcibly converted to Islam and sold into "marriages" with their captors.
Human Rights Watch reported in July that Boko Haram killed 2,053 civilians in the first 6 months of 2014. Since then, the numbers has grown considerably.
For more information about Boko Haram and its five-year insurgency see Clarion Project's Factsheet: Boko Haram (Nigerian Islamist Group)