5 dead in sui­cide blast at Nige­ria le­prosy hos­pi­tal

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

At least five peo­ple have been killed and 10 wounded af­ter a sui­cide bomber blew him­self up out­side a le­prosy hos­pi­tal on the out­skirts of the north­east Nige­rian city of Maiduguri, emer­gency ser­vices said.

The bomber, who tried to gain ac­cess to the hos­pi­tal, det­o­nated his ex­plo­sives out­side the build­ing at around 5:30 p.m. (1630 GMT) on Satur­day.

“Five peo­ple were killed and 10 oth­ers in­jured near the Mo­lai le­prosy hos­pi­tal when a male bomber blew him­self up,” said Mo­hammed Ka­nar, re­gional co­or­di­na­tor for the Na­tional Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency.

“The bomber had wanted to get en­try into the hos­pi­tal but was con­tem­plat­ing how to pass through se­cu­rity checks at the gate when the bomb went off.”

He added: “We took the bod­ies and the in­jured to the spe­cial­ist hos­pi­tal (in Maiduguri).”

Lo­cal res­i­dent Ibrahim Bu­lama said the bomber was one of three men who were dropped off near the hos­pi­tal by a SUV ve­hi­cle.

“They looked around for a while, ob­vi­ously try­ing to sneak into the hos­pi­tal,” Bu­lama said, adding that the fa­cil­ity was be­ing guarded by civil­ian vig­i­lantes who are as­sist­ing the mil­i­tary in the fight against Boko Haram Is­lamist in­sur­gents.

“Sud­denly, the ex­plo­sives on one of them went off. The other two fled in the con­fu­sion. Five peo­ple were killed and 10 oth­ers in­jured.”

There was no im­me­di­ate claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity for the bomb­ing, but Nige­ria’s Borno state, where the at­tack took place, has been the hard­est hit by the Boko Haram in­sur­gency which has left at least 15,000 peo­ple dead.

Boko Haram, which has been fight­ing to es­tab­lish a hard-line Is­lamic state in north­east Nige­ria since 2009, has in­ten­si­fied its cam­paign of vi­o­lence in the last month.

Dan­lami Ajaokuta, a civil­ian vig­i­lante fight­ing Boko Haram, con­firmed the hos­pi­tal ex­plo­sion and added that there had been a failed sui­cide at­tack by two women in Jakarna vil­lage, about 40 kilo­me­ters (25 miles) from Maiduguri on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

“Two fe­male sui­cide bombers died when the ex­plo­sives on one of them went off pre­ma­turely while they were wait­ing for a bus along the high­way in Jakarna,” Ajaokuta said.

“Res­i­dents from the vil­lage heard a huge ex­plo­sion and when they ar­rived at the scene they found one of the bombers in parts while the other lay dead face down.

“Her tact.”

ex­plo­sives were

still

in-

Ajaokuta added that bus driv­ers have been re­fus­ing to pick up fe­male pas­sen­gers on the road out­side Maiduguri since March, when three fe­male sui­cide bombers blew them­selves up at a bus stop in the area.

The armies of Nige­ria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon have been fight­ing a joint cam­paign against Boko Haram for sev­eral months, push­ing mil­i­tants out of cap­tured towns and vil­lages.

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