Bomb strapped to girl ‘about 10 years old’ kills 19 in Maiduguri, north-eastern Nigeria
From ABC Australia
A bomb strapped to a girl aged about 10 years old exploded in a busy market place in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Saturday, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 20, security sources say.
The powerful explosion rocked the market at about 12:40pm (local time) when it was packed with shoppers and traders.
Borno State police spokesman Gideon Jubrin told reporters: “Casualty figure: 20 dead and 18 injured, including the female suicide bomber that detonated the improvised explosive device.”
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Boko Haram militants have increasingly used women and young girls as human bombs in their six-year quest for a hardline Islamic state.
Civilian vigilante Ashiru Mustapha said the explosives detonated as the girl was being searched at the entrance to the market. “The girl was about 10 years old and I doubt much if she actually knew what was strapped to her body,” he told the AFP news agency. “In fact, she was searched at the entrance of the market and the metal detector indicated that she was carrying something. But sadly, the explosion went off before she was isolated, killing at least 10 people and injuring many others.”
In July, a 10-year-old girl was found in Katsina state wearing a suicide vest, prompting speculation that young girls were being forced into becoming human bombs rather than through ideological motivation.