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Teenage Suicide Bomber in Northeastern Nigeria Kills at least Six

The 14 year-old female suicide bomber reportedly killed herself and five other people when she detonated her explosives at a bus station in the city of Damaturu.
August 25, 2015, 5:40pm
Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan/AP

At least six people died and more than 40 were injured in Nigeria Tuesday morning after a 14-year-old girl blew herself up at a bus station in the northeastern city of Damaturu, adding to the growing tally of people killed in the country in the three months since President Muhammadu Buhari took office.

The teenager reportedly killed herself and five other people when she detonated at the station's entrance, the Associated Press reported. The AP said hospital sources reported that the death toll could be as high as 15, while the police could only confirm six people were killed.

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"At about 7:40am, a female suicide bomber about 14-years old denoted an explosive device at the central Damaturu motor park. Six people were killed including the suicide bomber," police spokesman Toyin Gbadegesin told Reuters.

Meanwhile, according to the AP, a young man attempted to conduct a separate suicide attack in Damaturu Tuesday morning, but his vest detonated early, and he killed only himself.

No one has claimed responsibility for the morning violence, but the country's homegrown militant organization, Boko Haram, is the usual suspect, particularly since the group has commonly employed young women as suicide bombers.

The group used a 10-year old girl suicide bomber to kill 16 people in Damaturu in July.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Monday, where he met with Buhari and also marked the four-year anniversary of a deadly attack at the international organization's country headquarters which killed 23 people.

Related: Boko Haram's Leader Apparently Comes Back From the Dead… Again

During the occasion the UN head offered to support the West African country's fight against Boko Haram's insurgency. Ban said the UN would help Nigeria "address and counter extremism and terrorism," while also stressing humanitarian concerns in the country.

"The humanitarian situation in the northeast is particularly worrying," Ban said. "We are working with partners on the ground to scale up humanitarian operations."

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Boko Haram unleashed its violent campaign on Nigeria six years ago, leaving at least 17,000 civilians dead, forcing millions to flee, and sparking high profile attacks like the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok.

Boko Haram also managed to take over swathes of land in the northern part of the country during its campaign, but in recent months the Nigerian military has forced them out of various strongholds. Despite the military gains, the militants have continued to carry out suicide bombings since Buhari rose to power.

Ban offered praise for the country and the peaceful transition of power between Nigeria's former president Goodluck Jonathan and current President Buhari, who beat Jonathan in elections earlier this year.

"I hope that this example will be emulated by many countries around the world," Ban said while commending the actions and also offering support to boost Nigeria's democracy. "I want to commend the people of Nigeria on the peaceful, free and fair elections."

Watch the VICE News' documentaryThe War Against Boko Haram: