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Wave of suicide attacks in Cameroon and Nigeria kill scores

Female suicide bombers detonated in bars and markets in Cameroon and Nigeria over the weekend, killing 35 people. Last week similar attacks left at least 98 people dead.

By Fred Lambert
Wave of suicide attacks in Cameroon and Nigeria kill scores
Officials say a wave of suicide attacks that have killed more than 100 people over the past week in northeastern Nigeria and northern Cameroon are the work of Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. Image from Google Maps

DAMATURU, Nigeria, July 26 (UPI) -- A wave of suicide bombings and other attacks have left more than 130 people dead across Nigeria and Cameroon within a week's time.

A female suicide bomber detonated Sunday morning at a market in Damaturu, Nigeria, killing 15 people and injuring 47. Witnesses reportedly described the woman as being mentally unstable.

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The night prior, a suicide bomber, described by witnesses as a teenage girl, blew herself up at a bar in Maroua, Cameroon, killing 20 people and injuring dozens of others. The northern Cameroonian city is the army's headquarters for operations against Islamic extremist group Boko Haram and was the setting of a similar double suicide blast on Wednesday that killed up to 13 people and wounded more than 30.

No groups have claimed responsibility for the attacks, but officials suspect they were carried out by Boko Haram, which has since 2009 waged war in pursuit of an Islamic state in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, 25 people were killed Friday in Boko Haram raids on three villages in Nigeria's Adamawa state, which borders the northeastern Borno state, the birthplace and main stronghold of the extremist group.

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Multiple suicide attacks last week in Gombe state and in Dematuru, in Yobe state -- including at least two reportedly detonated by a female bombers -- killed up to 60 people. Gombe, Yobe and Borno states are each located in northeastern Nigeria, where several attacks have been focused.

At least 17,000 people have been killed by Boko Haram, according to Amnesty International.

The group has also been blamed for multiple attacks in neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, whose military forces report killing several of the militants in clashes over the past many months.

Earlier this year the African Union agreed to a force of 7,500 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin to combat Boko Haram.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was elected in March under a vow to crack down on the group.

Despite a pledge of $5 million to help fund the AU force against Boko Haram, the United States denied a request by President Buhari for weaponry due to concerns over Nigeria's human rights record.

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