Sus­pected Boko Haram bombers kill dozens in Nige­ria

The Miracle - - National & Int -

A fe­male sui­cide bomber blew her­self up and killed at least 27 oth­ers at a mar­ket in north­east Nige­ria on Tues­day, two lo­cal of­fi­cials said, in an at­tack bear­ing the hall­mark of Boko Haram. Two more sui­cide bombers det­o­nated their de­vices at the gates to a nearby refugee camp, wound­ing many peo­ple, an emer­gency ser­vices of­fi­cial said. The re­gional Emer­gency Agency said 45 peo­ple were “crit­i­cally in­jured”. The death toll could be as high as 30. In all, at least 83 peo­ple were wounded in the three ex­plo­sions near the city of Maiduguri, the epi­cen­tre of the lon­grun­ning con­flict be­tween gov­ern­ment forces and Boko Haram. Nige­ria’s mil­i­tary last year wrested back large swaths of ter­ri­tory from the armed group. But they have struck back with re­newed zeal since June, killing at least 143 peo­ple be­fore Tues­day’s bomb­ings and weak­en­ing the army’s con­trol. The group has waged an eight-year war to cre­ate an Is­lamic state in north­east Nige­ria and pro­voked in­ter­na­tional out­rage by kid­nap­ping more than 200 school­girls known as the Chi­bok Girls in April 2014. More than 80 of the nearly 200 school­girls who were still miss­ing af­ter a mass Boko Haram ab­duc­tion in north­east Nige­ria in 2014 were freed in May in ex­change for pris­on­ers. Its bet­ter­known fac­tion, led by Abubakar Shekau, has mainly based it­self in the sprawl­ing Sam­bisa for­est and has been char­ac­terised by its use of women and chil­dren as sui­cide bombers tar­get­ing mosques and mar­kets. Fiyaso Soy- omb, Editor of the In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre for In­ves­tiga­tive Re­port­ing in Nige­ria, told Al Jazeera that Boko Haram likes to use fe­male sui­cide bombers be­cause they are harder to de­tect. “Fol­low­ing the trend of at­tacks, it’s clear that there has been an up­surge since the re­lease of [more than 80] girls in ex­change for Boko Haram com­man­ders - that’s a big fac­tor.” A ri­val fac­tion - based in the Lake Chad re­gion, led by Abu Musab al-Bar­nawi and boast­ing ties to the Is­lamic State of Iraq and the Le­vant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) - has in the mean­time qui­etly be­come a deadly force ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing out highly-or­gan­ised at­tacks. Last month, an oil prospect­ing team was cap­tured by al-Bar­nawi’s group. At least 37 peo­ple, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the team, died when res­cuers from the mil­i­tary and vig­i­lantes at­tempted to free them. The Boko Haram re­bel­lion has killed 20,000 peo­ple and forced some 2.7 mil­lion to flee their homes in the last eight years.

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