Nige­ria suicide at­tacks death toll reaches 45

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Two fe­male suicide bombers on Fri­day killed 45 peo­ple and wounded 33 others when they det­o­nated their ex­plo­sives in a crowded mar­ket in Nige­ria’s restive north­east, the emer­gency service said the army had ear­lier put the death toll at 30. “From our up­dated records we have 45 dead and 33 in­jured in the twin suicide bomb ex­plo­sions in Mada­gali,” said Sa’ad Bello of the Na­tional Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (NEMA) in Adamawa state.

While there was no im­me­di­ate claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity, the blasts bore all the hall­marks of Boko Haram, which reg­u­larly uses women and young girls to carry out suicide at­tacks in its seven-year in­sur­gent cam­paign in the trou­bled re­gion. Mil­i­tary spokesman Badare Ak­in­toye had ear­lier said “at least 30 peo­ple have been killed in the suicide blasts car­ried out by two fe­male suicide bombers in the mar­ket.” A lo­cal gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial and the Na­tional Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (NEMA) con­firmed the at­tack.

“The two bombers who (were) dis­guised as cus­tomers, det­o­nated their suicide belts at the sec­tion of the mar­ket sell­ing grains and sec­ond-hand cloth­ing,” said Yusuf Muham­mad, the chair­man of Mada­gali lo­cal gov­ern­ment. The at­tack on Mada­gali, which was re­cap­tured by Nige­rian forces from Boko Haram ji­hadists in 2015, was the third time the town has been tar­geted since De­cem­ber last year when two fe­male suicide bombers killed scores. Mar­ket trader Habu Ah­mad said Fri­day’s blasts hap­pened around 9:30 am (0830 GMT). “It was dead bod­ies and wounded peo­ple in the midst of blood, spilt grain and aban­doned per­sonal ef­fects,” he said.

‘Un­der con­trol’

Ibrahim Ab­dulka­dir, NEMA spokesman for the north­east, said rescue teams had been de­ployed to the scene. He said se­cu­rity agents had cor­doned off the scene of the ex­plo­sions. Nige­rian Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari con­demned the at­tack in a state­ment on Fri­day, vow­ing to put “an end to this sense­less loss of in­no­cent lives.”

“This lat­est at­tack is ob­vi­ously an act of des­per­a­tion, but the Nige­rian mil­i­tary will nei­ther be dis­tracted nor re­lent,” he said. He urged Nige­ri­ans to be more vig­i­lant and im­me­di­ately re­port any sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity to the near­est se­cu­rity agents. “The bat­tle against ter­ror­ism is a joint ef­fort in­volv­ing all cit­i­zens, both gov­ern­ment and gov­erned. “To­gether, Nige­ri­ans can and will de­feat the evil that is Boko Haram,” he added.

Buhari had told a se­cu­rity con­fer­ence in Sene­gal on Wed­nes­day that the sit­u­a­tion in the re­gion was “un­der con­trol”. Boko Haram is seek­ing to im­pose a hard­line Is­lamic le­gal sys­tem on Nige­ria’s mainly-Mus­lim north. Its cam­paign of vi­o­lence has killed at least 20,000 peo­ple and dis­placed some 2.6 mil­lion since 2009.

Nige­ria’s mil­i­tary cam­paign against the ji­hadists is in­creas­ingly bogged down as it con­fronts suicide at­tacks, loot­ing and in­dis­crim­i­nate slaugh­ter. The United Na­tions has warned that the af­fected re­gion faces the “largest cri­sis in Africa”. The UN es­ti­mates that 14 mil­lion peo­ple will need out­side help in 2017 be­cause of the on­go­ing vi­o­lence, par­tic­u­larly in Borno State, the epi­cen­tre of the re­bel­lion. — AFP

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