Suicide bombing by young female kills six in Nigerian market

Witnesses said the girl, who looked about 8 years old, detonated at a checkpoint in a market, killing herself and five others in the most recent attack by an underage girl in Nigeria.

By Fred Lambert

POTISKUM, Nigeria, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A suicide bomber described by witnesses as a young female detonated at a market checkpoint in Nigeria on Sunday, killing herself and five other people.

Police said 46 others were injured in the attack, which occurred in a mobile phone market in the northeast Nigerian town of Potiskum.


Though Islamic militant group Boko Haram is suspected, no groups have claimed responsibility for the attack. The bombing is the latest in a string of suicide attacks perpetrated by what witnesses describe as adolescent girls.

On Feb. 15 a female suicide bomber killed seven people and injured over 30 at a bus station in Damaturu. Four days earlier a female suicide bomber was shot to death before detonating in Diffa.

Potiskum has been a previous target of such attacks; on Jan. 11 the same mobile phone market in the town was struck by two blasts that witnesses said were detonated by two preteen girls -- one day after a 10-year-old girl detonated a bomb strapped to her in a live chicken market in Maiduguri.


In the face of increased attacks by Boko Haram, Nigeria was forced to delay national elections scheduled for Feb. 14. The new date is March 28.

Boko Haram gained international infamy when it kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok in April 2014. Experts have speculated that the group, which has waged war seeking an Islamic state in Nigeria since 2009, might be using abducted children to conduct the recent series of suicide bombings.

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