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13 dead as girls launch triple suicide bombings in Damaturu

17 July 2015, 13:24

Kano -At least 13 people were killed in the city of Damaturu on Friday in three suicide attacks carried out by girls as residents prepared for the Eid festival at the end of Ramadan, police said.

The attacks, in an area hard hit by the Boko Haram insurgency, came just days before President Muhammadu Buhari travels to Washington for talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama.

Buhari is expected to use Monday's meeting with Obama to push for US help to tackle the jihadist violence, which has surged since he took office in May.

Boko Haram have increasingly used young women and girls as human bombs over the past year as part of campaign of terror, which has left 15 000 people dead and 1.5 million homeless since 2009.

Residents said twin explosions near a prayer ground in Damaturu had killed two people, before a third blast went off moments later near a mosque leaving another 11 people dead, according to medics.

"Thirteen people were killed in the... suicide blasts," said Markus Danladi, Yobe state police commissioner. "The attacks were carried out by three underage girls. Fifteen people were also injured in the attacks."

Also Read: Death toll from Gombe blast increases

The attacks followed a double bombing at a market in the town of Gombe, south of Damaturu, on Thursday evening that killed at least 49 people who were shopping for the Eid celebrations.

This year's Ramadan has been particularly deadly, with suicide bombers hitting mosques and worshippers gunned down as they prayed.

"There were two blasts near the Eid prayer ground," said Ahmad Adamu, a security volunteer in Damaturu said of Friday's attacks.

"The first blast went off around 7:15 am (0615 GMT) while security volunteers who had come earlier than worshippers were waiting for the worshippers so they could assist in crowd control. Two were killed and three were injured," he said.

"While we were attending to the victims we heard another blast about 500 metres (yards) away."

Damaturu is the capital of Yobe, one of three northeastern states worst affected by the insurgency.



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