Deadly Female Suicide Bombings Hit Nigeria Days After Attack On Mosques Kills 97

Two suicide bombings have killed 13 in Maiduguri, and come just two days after Boko Haram killed nearly 100 people in brutal attack on Nigerian town

by Kayleen Devlin
Jul 3 2015, 3:52pm

Photo by Jerome Delay/AP

Two female suicide bombing attacks have killed 13 people on Friday at a crowded market and military checkpoint in northeast Nigeria, making these the fourth suspected militant Islamist attacks to hit the region in only a week.

These latest attacks come just two days after Boko Haram militants gunned down at least 97 people, including children, in the town of Kukawa,  also in northeast Nigeria. Some reports have suggested that the number dead from this attack is up to 150.

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Friday's suicide bombings both took place in Malari village, just outside Maiduguri. They began with an explosion from a teenage girl at the market that killed at least 10 people, security guard Abba Shehu told The Associated Press.

Minutes later a woman in a taxi blew up at a military checkpoint and killed a soldier and two passengers.

There are fears Boko Haram is using some of its captives as weapons.

The brutal attacks follow a number of extremist militant attacks seen during the holy month of Ramadan. Islamic State, which Boko Haram pledged allegiance to in March 2015, have urged fighters to step up their frequency of attacks during Ramadan. In an audio message from June, IS spokesperson Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani urged jihadists to turn the holy month of Ramadan into a time of "calamity for the infidels … Shi'ites and apostate Muslims."

The attack that took place on Wednesday in Kuwawa targeted a number of mosques whilst people were praying ahead of breaking their daylong fast during Ramadan.

Related: Boko Haram Pledges Allegiance To Islamic State

Speaking to AP on Thursday, self-defense spokesman Abbas Gava said that the attack on Wednesday targeted mainly men, but some militants also broke into people's homes, killing children and women as they prepared the evening meal.

One eyewitness to the event told AFP that more than 50 militants stormed into Kukawa on Wednesday, and "spared nobody."

Speaking to VICE News, Nigerian political analyst Chris Ngwodo said, "I think it's a fair expectation that we will see many more of these attacks throughout the rest of Ramadan. We've seen a spike in attacks from this group over the last month and a half."

"These attacks are calculated to send a message to the Nigerian government that Boko Haram are not going anywhere," he continued. "While the Nigerian Army made some gains in recapturing territory from the group, what this has led to is Boko Haram doing more of what they know best, which is carrying out random brutal attacks. I wouldn't say this group is close to being wiped out anytime soon. It will take a while."

Human rights group Amnesty International has estimated that since 2009 at least 170,000 people, mainly civilians, have been killed by Boko Haram militants.

In April of this year, newly elected Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said that Boko Haram was the biggest threat to Nigeria, and promised to "tackle them" head on.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Related: The War Against Boko Haram