MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up Tuesday in a crowded market in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri, killing at least 30 people, according to witnesses and a security official.
The two teenage girls dressed in full hijab entered the busy market
and detonated their explosives, said Abba Aji Kalli, the Borno state
coordinator of the Civilian Joint Task Force.
The first set off her explosives and killed about three women, said Kalli.
When others gathered around the scene, the second bomber screamed and blew herself up, killing about 30, he said.
"I am right here at the scene and I have before me 11 corpses ...
many have been taken away by relatives, while others are taken to the
state specialists' hospital," said Kalli.
Soldiers and police officers cordoned off the area while rescue
workers helped survivors to the hospital. Nigeria's police have not yet
issued a statement on Tuesday's blasts.
Nigeria's Islamic extremist rebel group, Boko Haram, is suspected of
the suicide blasts, as they have carried out many similar violent acts
in northeastern Nigeria. More than 1,500 have died in militant violence
so far this year, according to Amnesty International.
Today's blast is the first in Maiduguri since July 2 when 56 people
were killed in the same market area when a car bomb hit a group of
traders and shoppers.
Maiduguri is the provincial capital and largest city in Borno state,
one of the three states in northeastern Nigeria that are under a state
of emergency because of the extremist violence.
In April Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok,
about 125 kilometers (78 miles) southwest of Maiduguri. The plight of
the schoolgirls aroused international concern and prompted the
#BringBackOurGirls campaign on social media.