Female suicide bomber kills eight IDPs in Maiduguri

Eight Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were killed Sunday when a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives among women and children arriving Maiduguri to escape Boko Haram violence in the countryside.

Mohammed Kanar, a local coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said the blast happened on Sunday morning as the group arrived from Dikwa, 90 kilometres (56 miles) to the northeast.

Kanar said the bomber in Sunday’s attack was aged about 20 and struck as the group reached a checkpoint on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

“The IDPs, mostly women and children, were stopped for security checks at the checkpoint when the bomber, disguised as an IDP, sneaked in amongst them before setting off her explosives,” he told AFP.

“Eight people were killed and seven others were injured in the incident.”

Army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman was quoted as giving the same account and toll.

There has been a wave of suicide and home-made bomb attacks against civilians in urban areas recently, particularly Maiduguri, which in October alone was hit six times, killing at least 54 people.

On Saturday, four teenage girls blew themselves up in a village near Fotokol, in Cameroon’s far north region near the border with Nigeria, killing five, including a traditional chief.

Similar attacks have happened in Chad and Niger.

Dikwa was recaptured from Boko Haram in July and NEMA’s Kanar said the town had seen an influx of people from surrounding villages seeking military protection but the authorities had struggled to cope.

“They had been short of supplies, mostly food and other items, which prompted some of them to move to Maiduguri,” he added.

“We intend to make some relief distribution in the coming days.”

The six-year Boko Haram insurgency has forced some 2.6 million people from their homes and left at least 17,000 dead.