Multiple Explosions Rock Nigeria: Boko Haram Increasingly Targeting Crowded Marketplaces

Multiple explosions rocked Nigeria, killing more than 3 dozen and injuring almost a hundred people. The explosions were a result of suicide-bombings and terrorist organization Boko Haram is suspected behind the attacks that took place in crowded marketplaces.

Bombs ripped through two separate markets in two different cities in Nigeria. While a bomb went off in a busy mobile phone market in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Yola, another explosion occurred in crowded vegetable market in the country’s biggest northern city, Kano. The bomb planted in Yola went off near night-time on Tuesday. The other bomb exploded in Kano on Wednesday during the afternoon prayers. Yola is the capital city of Adamawa state, which has been bombed on multiple occasions by Boko Haram.

Since both the markets are quite bustling with activity, the number of people killed or injured has been quite high. Though there is no estimate about how many people were killed in Wednesday’s blast in Kano, about 32 people were killed and more than 80 were injured in the explosion that occurred in Yola, reported BBC.

Preliminary investigations indicate the bomb that exploded in Yola was placed in a lorry park, reported Yahoo. The park is a wholesale marketplace that witnesses a lot of activity, as traders deal with shoppers and manage their inventory through a multitude of large vehicles. The crowded marketplace is an ideal location to spread carnage, as it kills many and achieves widespread terror. Not to mention, the core economy of Nigeria can get negatively affected due to the fear of venturing in crowded commercial hubs.

The Tuesday’s blast broke the three-week hiatus in bombings after a string of suicide attacks culminated in twin explosions in mosques in two northeastern cities, reported Fox News. Collectively, the twin blasts killed 42 people and wounded more than 100 on October 23.

Boko Haram had decided to get attached with the growing terror group, ISIS or Islamic State. ISIS is a powerful and barbaric organization that is infamous for a large number of beheadings and mass executions. The group even trades women as sex slaves, and reports indicate the group removes organs from its captives to sell on the illegal organ trade. As the name suggests, ISIS wants to achieve a Islamic State over Syria and adjoining areas.

Despite pledging allegiance to ISIS or Islamic State, Boko Haram has no qualms about attacking mosques. In fact, one of the mosques attacked was in Yola, where insurgents struck twice. With the city already reeling under the pressure of some of the 2.3 million refugees, that have been displaced by growing menace of ISIS, the third bombing took place in as many months.

Sa’ad Bello, coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, confirmed that the Tuesday’s blast claimed 32 lives, while around 80 people were seriously wounded. The surviving victims were rushed to nearby hospitals. It’s tragic that majority of the victims were small-time traders, their poor customers and passers-by, shared Deputy Superintendent Othman Abubakar, the police spokesman for Adamawa state.

Nigeria’s military had raided a well-stocked Boko Haram camp late last month. The officials released over 300 captives and claimed to have killed over 30 terrorists, besides capturing a few. But the terror organization released a video dismissing the claims.

The terror organization appears to have stepped up its activities. Officials suspect the suicde bombers aren’t members of the faction, but instead, are ordinary civilians who are strapped with explosives and sent into crowded places. Thereafter the bombs are exploded remotely.

The attack on Kano comes as a surprise, since the city has witnessed little violence at the hands of Boko Haram. The city has a well-developed nexus of local networks of traditional chiefs that share intelligence with security agencies. The active cooperation had kept the city safe till now.

As explosions continue in Nigeria, will the world concentrate only on ISIS?

[Photo by Stringer/Getty Images]