Two female suicide bombers kill 15 at Kano GSM market

Scene of an attack by Boko Haram
Scene of an attack by Boko Haram

At least 15 people were killed on Wednesday when two female suicide bombers, one said to be aged around 11, blew themselves up at a busy mobile phone market in Kano, a day after more than 30 were killed in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State.

Vans filled with victims were seen being driven from the scene by rescuers.

“A minibus carrying some women came to the Farm Centre GSM market and dropped off one girl aged about 11 and another aged about 18, both wore the hijab,” said Kano police spokesman Musa Magaji Majia.

“One went inside the market, the other stayed outside then they exploded, killing themselves and others nearby,” he told AFP.

“The victims were taken to hospital and it was later confirmed that 15 people died, not including the suicide bombers.”

Traders Nafiu Mohammed and Suleiman Haruna said the explosion happened at the Farm Centre market shortly after 4:00 pm and emergency workers were on the scene dealing with casualties.

“I was preparing for the afternoon prayers when there was an explosion deep inside the market at exactly 4:10 pm,” said Mohammed.

“Police officers from a nearby police station mobilised to the scene while traders in confusion locked up their shops and moved out of the market.

“We are now at a distance while the rescue vehicles are taking the victims to hospital. We have no idea of the number of casualties.”

fired warning shots as a deterrent for people to stay back from the market, which is typically packed with traders and shoppers.

Haruna also said it was not clear how many people had been affected but he added: “I saw ambulances leaving the market.”

Nearly 1,500 people have been killed in northern and northeast Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power on May 29.

Buhari has given military commanders until next month to bring Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency to an end but there have been waves of bombings, mainly against civilian “soft” targets.

On Tuesday evening, at least 32 people were killed and some 80 others injured in an explosion at a packed lorry park in Yola.

It was the first suspected Boko Haram attack in Nigeria since a twin suicide attack in Yola on October 23 and revived fears of a fresh round of carnage.

Kano has been relatively spared from the violence in the last six months, a fact attributed in part to its security network using local networks of traditional chiefs and the security agencies.