الإثنين , يونيو 15 2020

Nigeria market explosion kills 16

A screen grab from a video released by Boko Haram, showing its leader Abubakar Shekau delivering a speech - 31 October 2014Boko Haram was launched in Maiduguri in 2002

At least 16 people have been killed and several injured by a bomb attack in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, medics say.

Some reports say that the market explosion was triggered by a girl suicide bomber who may have been as young as 10 years old.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack.

However correspondents say that all the signs point to the militant Islamist Boko Haram group.

The market is reported to have been targeted twice in a week by female bombers late last year.

Borno State police spokesman Gideon Jubrin said that the girl suicide bomber let off an improvised explosive device near the area of the market where chickens were sold.

Hundreds of people were killed on Wednesday in an assault by Boko Haram militants on the town of Baga, following on their seizure of a key military base there on 3 January,

The ruins of burnt out houses stand in Baga town in Nigeria (09 January 2015)The town of Baga has been razed to the ground by Boko Haram militants

Scores of bodies from that attack – described by Amnesty International as possibly the “deadliest massacre” in the history of Boko Haram – are reported to remain strewn in the bush.

District head Baba Abba Hassan said most victims in the Baga attack were children, women or elderly people who were not able to escape when insurgents forced their way into the town by firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles.

“The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous,” Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for a civilian defence group that fights Boko Haram told the Associated Press .

Boko Haram launched a military campaign in 2009 to create an Islamic state.

It has taken control of many towns and villages in north-eastern Nigeria in the last year.

The conflict has displaced at least 1.5 million people, while more than 2,000 were killed last year.

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Boko Haram at a glance

A screen grab taken from a video released on You Tube in April 2012, apparently showing Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau (centre) sitting flanked by militants

  • Founded in 2002
  • Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
  • Some three million people affected
  • Declared terrorist group by US in 2013

Who are Boko Haram?

Profile: Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau

Why Nigeria has not defeated Boko Haram

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Some 10,0000 people have fled to Chad over the last week to escape the violence, raising fears of a humanitarian crisis, officials say.

Others are fleeing to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, in buses provided by the government.

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan speaks during the flag-off for his campaign for a second-term in office, in Lagos on 8 January 2015Mr Jonathan is under pressure over the insurgency

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno and two neighbouring states in 2013, vowing to defeat the militants.

However, Boko Haram has stepped up attacks since then and there are fears that many people in the north-east will not be able to vote in the forthcoming general election because of the conflict.

map of areas under attack by Boko Haram

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