Wednesday 25 April 2018

Girl (10) among suicide bombers

People gather near a mosque where a bomb exploded in Jos, Nigeria
People gather near a mosque where a bomb exploded in Jos, Nigeria

Michelle Faul

A 10-Year-Old girl and an elderly woman were used as suicide bombers by Boko Haram in Nigeria yesterday, killing at least 15 people.

The Islamic extremists chose open-air praying grounds in north-eastern Damaturu for the attacks on one of the holiest days of the Muslim calendar.

The Boko Haram extremist group has used many women and girl bombers in recent weeks, raising fears the insurgents are turning some of their hundreds of captives into weapons. One military bomb-disposal expert said almost all the female bombers are strapped with explosives that are remotely detonated.

Nigerians who usually turn out in their finest robes to pray on the holiday stayed home in fear in Damaturu and Gombe town, where 50 people shopping for the holiday at the main market died in two bomb blasts late Thursday night.

"No amount of terrorist acts would deter our resolve to stamp out terrorism and insurgency in our fatherland," said army spokesman Col Sani Kukasheka Usman.

But Nigerians are weary of the military's promises to halt the six-year-old insurgency that has killed more than 13,000 people. Amnesty International puts the toll at some 20,000 to include 8,000 people it says have died in military detention - some shot, some of untreated wounds from torture, others just starving or asphyxiated to death in overcrowded cells.

The group captured world attention with the mass kidnapping in April 2014 of 274 schoolgirls - 219 are still missing.

Irish Independent

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