At least 19 killed by bomb strapped to girl, believed to be 10, in Nigeria

The bomb went off in the market place of the town of Maiduguri

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The Independent Online

At least 19 people have been killed by a bomb strapped to a girl believed to be 10, in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Saturday.

The bomb went off at 12.15pm in the city’s busy market place, killing the girl and at least 18 bystanders.

More than 20 people who were injured in the attack are now in hospital.

“The explosive devices were wrapped around her body and the girl looked no more than 10 years old,” a police source told Reuters.

 

Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, is regularly attacked by Boko Haram militants, due to its location in the heart of the northern region where the group wants to establish an Islamic caliphate in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

In March last year, 600 people were killed in a single day, when an attack was launched on the Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but it is believed that Boko Haram is behind the murders.

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Baga after a previous Boko Haram raid. Much of the village has been destroyed in this month’s attacks (AP)

The killings come after Boko Haram’s Friday attack on the town of Baga, near the Chad border, which was labelled its “deadliest massacre” by Amnesty International.

The town was razed to the ground and as many as 2,000 people were slaughtered. Hundreds of bodies are reportedly still strewn in the bush.

Insurgents entered Baga firing rocket-propelled grenade launchers and assault rifles; the victims were largely the elderly and children who could not run quickly enough from the attackers.

A government spokesman, Mike Omeri, said: “Security forces have responded rapidly, and have deployed significant military assets and conducted airstrikes against militant targets.” But a nearby military installation had earlier been overrun by the militants on 3 January.

Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for a civilian defence group, said: “The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous.

“No one could attend to the corpses and even the seriously injured ones who may have died by now,” he added.

In the past five years of fighting in the north-east of Nigerian more than 10,000 people are estimated to have died by the Council on Foreign Relations, based in Washington DC.

Additional reporting AP

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