Twin Bombings in MaiduguriNovember 26, 2014 in Nigeria
In what is the latest wave of attacks to be blamed on Boko Haram, at least forty-five people were killed Tuesday when two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in a crowded market in northeastern Nigeria. The explosions come as suspected Boko Haram militants have control of another town in northeastern Nigeria.
The explosions occurred around 11 AM (1000GMT) on One Way road in the Borno state capital Maiduguri, near the Monday Market area where at least fifteen people were killed in an attack carried out by suspected Boko Haram militants on 1 July. An official from Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed “many people have been killed,” but that an official death toll has not been compiled. According to on the ground sources, the first bomber stood by a motorized rickshaw packed with goods in the busy market and took a call on her mobile phone. She later dropped the mobile phone and blew herself up. Officials currently believe that the bomb was likely concealed in the rickshaw. According to an eyewitness, “about 10 minutes later, another woman who looked about 19 and carrying what looked like a baby on her back…arrived at the scene that was crowded with rescuers and locals….She then detonated the bomb on her back.”
In recent months, northern Nigeria has increasingly been hit by a wave of suicide bomb attack carried out by women. In July, there were four such attacks that occurred within a week in Kano city. Officials believe that Boko Haram is using either willing volunteers or coercing young women and girls into carrying out suicide attacks. According to sources, three women, said to be “female recruiters” for Boko Haram were reportedly arrested in July while an alleged trainer of women bombers was detained in August in Kano with up to 16 “trainees.”
Tuesday’s attacks also came after the militants seized control of another town in Nigeria’s restive northeast. Early Monday, Boko Haram took over the town of Damasak, located less than 200 kilometres (125 miles) from Maiduguri, in the far north of Borno, near the border with neighbouring Niger. According to local sources, the militants entered the town disguised as traders, carrying boxes that were packed with AK-47 rifles. They then set fire to houses and killed an unspecified number of people.