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Child bomber kills six in Damaturu

25 August 2015, 16:04

Kano - A child bomber killed six people Tuesday outside a bus station in the heartland of the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in Damaturu.

Witnesses reported seeing a "young girl" approaching the station in the Yobe state capital Damaturu around 7:00 am and refusing to be searched by security guards at the gate before blowing herself up.

"A private taxi... drove out of the park. As soon as the car came close, she detonated the explosives. Six people in the car were killed. She was also killed," bystander Sani Dankamasho told AFP.

Reports said the bomber was aged around 12.

The attack came just hours after United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon wrapped up a two-day visit during which he hailed Nigeria's "greater stability and peace" under President Buhari as he commemorated a deadly 2011 attack on the global body by Boko Haram militants.

Police and witnesses reported a second attack 10 minutes after the bus park bombing, in which a suicide bomber managed only to kill himself and slightly wound a bystander on the outskirts of Damaturu.

"There were two suicide blasts in Damaturu today. The first one happened outside the motor park and the second one occurred in Pompomari on the outskirts of Damaturu. But only the bomber has died in the second blast," said Toyin Gbadegesin, a spokesman for Yobe state police.

Also read: UN chief in Nigeria in wake of attack on army chief

- Deadly ambushes -

"In the first blast outside the motor park six people were killed and 42 others injured by a female suicide bomber. The injured are receiving treatment in hospital."

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bus park bombing but it bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which has in recent weeks used young women to carry out bloody suicide attacks in the northeast.

"The dead have been evacuated to a mortuary while the injured victims are currently being attended to by health and emergency workers," Yobe local government spokesman Abdulahhi Bego said in a statement.

- Jihadist bloodshed -

The fresh wave of violence has claimed more than 1,000 lives over the last three months, dealing a setback to a four-country offensive launched in February that had chalked up a number of victories against the jihadists.

An 8,700-strong Multi-National Joint Task Force, drawing in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin, is expected to go into action soon.

Buhari has vowed to destroy Boko Haram, and replaced his military leaders earlier in August, ordering his new chiefs-of-staff to end the jihadist bloodshed within three months.

The military under his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan was heavily criticised for poor handling of the insurgency and its failure to free more than 200 schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in April last year.

The "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign marks 500 days on Thursday since the girls were captured and is due to meet the country's new chief of defence staff Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin later on Tuesday.

"I want to reiterate my support for the Chibok girls, and so many other innocent abducted girls and boys, whose names and fate remain unknown," Ban said before leaving for France late on Monday.

"It is intolerable that their lives and schooling has been disrupted in this way. The whole world has been moved by their fate."



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