Saturday, March 14, 2015

Suicide bomb attack in Nigeria's Maiduguri kills 17 people

Another suspected Boko Haram terrorist carried out a suicide bombing in Nigeria's Borno state on Tuesday.

Al Jazeera said that the attack, which occurred near the Monday Market in state capital Maiduguri, resulted in at least 17 casualties, according to sources within the military and the city hospital.

This latest suicide bombing occurred just three days after a string of attacks on Saturday that killed at least 54 people and wounded more than 100 others. The Guardian reported over the weekend that five bombs were detonated in four different locations in Maiduguri, including the Borno Express bus station and the Monday Market as well as a checkpoint manned by a civilian defense unit.

No one has claimed responsibility for the latest attack, but the manner of execution is consistent with the Boko Haram.

According to Al Jazeera, Tuesday's attack is apparently in retaliation for statements issued by Nigerian National Security spokesperson Mike Omeri on Abubakar Shekau's pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State.

Shekau, who is the nominal leader of the Islamist radical group, released an audio recording on Saturday pledging allegiance to ISIS. In response, Omeri called the announcement "an act of desperation" and said that the group is facing serious losses after the multi-national task force began its joint offensive against the Nigerian militants. 

The multi-national task force is an 8,000-strong regional army made up of forces assembled from Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Benin. It was formed last month after Boko Haram expanded its attacks to border towns in Nigeria's neighbouring countries.

Al Jazeera also reported that, in addition to Tuesday's attack on the Monday Market, the Nigerian police also discovered and defused a second bomb placed in the densely populated Babalayi district, 500 metres away from Tuesday's suicide attack. 

Maiduguri has been the target of both suicide bombings and attacks by fighters of the Islamist group. In January, the group attempted to retake the city but were repelled by the Nigerian government forces. Fears that the militants have surrounded the city also led to the postponement of the February presidential elections.

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