A female suicide bomber killed herself and 10 others in an attack when she blew herself up in a crowded bus station. The incident happened earlier today in the northeastern Nigeria city of Damaturu in Yobe state. Authorities and witnesses saying a girl managed to elude security at a checkpoint before setting off the blast. Reporters said an angry mob prevented rescue workers from evacuating the remains of the bomber as they set her body parts on fire.
Many of the victims, according to witnesses, were small children selling goods at the bus station.
Thus far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it occurred in a region where Boko Haram, Nigeria’s Islamic extremist group, has increasingly used young women to carry out its attacks as it attempts to impose a religion-based control across northern Nigeria.
Seven days ago, Nigeria announced that it was postponing national elections for six weeks, saying that Boko Haram posed too big a security threat. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has repeatedly announced that democracy is un-Islamic, and warned that anyone participating in the election would be killed.
According to the Associated Press, Boko Haram is responsible for over 10,000 deaths last year in terror attacks. The terrorist group’s activities have spilled out of Nigeria and into the neighboring countries of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Attacks by Boko Haram on those neighboring countries have been a result of those nations joining a regional military offensive designed to crush Boko Haram. Needless to say, the offensive doesn’t seem to be very effective.
Yesterday, the neighboring Gombe state imposed a 24-hour curfew in response to a Boko Haram attack on Gombe city. Though details about that attack have been vague at best, some reports claimed that militants took their wounded and bodies of the dead after the attack. Boko Haram had released a warning in that area as well for residents to avoid participating in elections under penalty of death.
Last Friday, Nigerian President Jonathon said that he’d been asking the United States for more help in fighting against Boko Haram. Jonathon said that he believes Boko Haram is receiving funding from the Islamic State, the jihadist group working in Iraq and Syria. The Nigerian leader said that it is the United States’ interest to aid Nigeria with combat troops. A spokesman from the Pentagon, Rear Admiral John Kirby, said that the U.S. has no plans to unilaterally send troops to Nigeria. However, talks have commenced, discussing the formation of a multi-national task force to combat the Nigerian militants.
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