Two suicide bombers kill at least nine in Maiduguri
Two suicide bombings rocked Nigeria’s northeast city of Maiduguri on Saturday, killing at least nine people and injuring scores of others, emergency services said.
One explosion happened outside a gas station, while the other was near the Bakassi camp for internally displaced persons (IDP), underscoring the continued threat from Boko Haram jihadists who are suspected of being behind the attacks.
“Two suicide bombers riding in motorised rickshaws this morning detonated their explosives 10 minutes apart, with one of them targeting the Bakassi IDP camp on the outskirts of the city,” Mohammed Kanar, spokesman for Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said.
“One of the bombers tried to enter the Bakassi IDP camp but the explosives detonated at the gates, killing four people,” Kanar said.
“The explosives on the other one detonated minutes later as he rode with two other people towards the (Bakassi) IDP camp near the fuel depot.”
Following the blast, one of the yellow rickshaws burst apart in half, while the ground was littered with metal shards.
“Nine persons lost their lives with twenty-four persons injured and evacuated to various hospitals,” NEMA said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Boko Haram has devastated northeast Nigeria in its quest to create an Islamist state, killing over 20,000 people and displacing 2.6 million from their homes.
Since taking up arms against the Nigerian government in 2009, Boko Haram has disrupted trade routes and farms.
Now nearly 50,000 children are facing death by starvation if they don’t get food and almost 250,000 more are severely malnourished in Borno state, according to UNICEF.
“Nigeria is facing the worst humanitarian crisis on the African continent,” Peter Lundberg, acting United Nations Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, warned last week.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has led a successful offensive against the insurgents since coming into office last year, but Boko Haram is still capable of carrying out deadly attacks.
In October, Boko Haram attacked a town near Chibok, where in 2014 it kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls, drawing global attention to the insurgency.
Later this month, the jihadists claimed that they killed 20 soldiers in “fierce clashes” in the Ghashghar area of northeastern Nigeria.
The violence is spilling into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, with Niger early in October declaring two days of national mourning after 22 soldiers were killed in an attack blamed on the jihadists against a camp sheltering almost 4,000 refugees.