By Dickson Blessing
A young girl around age 10 exploded in a busy market in Maduguri on Saturday killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 20 persons. A Nigeria security source has said the bomb went of at 12:15pm.
The bomb which was said to be hidden under her veil had exploded and destroyed a lot of shoppers at the market. The explosion, witnessed by dozens of people, represented a new tactic in the Islamists’ campaign with their decision to use perhaps their youngest-ever suicide bomber.
The Boko Haram sect has increasingly employed women as suicide bombers as well as the abduction of women as in the case of the chibok girls. In Maiduguri, two women had hit the market late last year,killing dozens and in one week last summer four women carried out bombings in northern Nigeria’s biggest city, Kano.
A vigilante group had taken up the responsibility of ensuring thorough security at the market. It was reported by a spokesman Faruq Abubakar that the girl was screened by several of the groups with metal detectors. The girl resisted, the vigilantes noticed a bulge around her waist and the bomb went off, Mr. Faruq said.
Several witnessed disclosed that the girl might not have been aware of what deadly mission she had embarked on. Bakura Bashir, a shopper who witnessed the explosion, said: “This girl may not necessarily know she was conveying a timed bomb. The girl was torn into two halves, and half of her body was thrown across buildings by the devastating blast.”
“It’s a little girl,” said the hospital official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of his position. “The body is beyond recognition, but from the face you can see it’s a young person. A young pretty girl.”
civilian joint task force member Zakariya Mohammed told Reuters that 27 injured people are in Borno medical hospital while others are being moved to other hospitals.