By Emmanuel Ande
YOLA, Nigeria, Two schoolgirl suicide bombers killed 30 people and wounded dozens more in a coordinated attack on a crowded market in the northeastern Nigerian town of Madagali on Friday, an army spokesman said.
The bombings bore the hallmark of Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has been waging an insurgency to set up a state adhering to a strict interpretation of Muslim laws in the northeast. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
“The attack in Madagali was carried out by two female school children. They detonated two bombs at the same time killing 30 people and they also died,” said Major Badare Akintoye, a spokesman for an army unit in the nearby town of Mubi.
He said 57 people were also hurt in the bombings in Adamawa state.
Boko Haram has frequently targetted crowded areas — such as markets, places of worship and refugee camps — in suicide bomb attacks across northeast Nigeria and in neighboring Cameroon and Niger.
The jihadist group has killed some 15,000 people and forced more than two million people to flee their homes.
Nigeria’s army has pushed the militant group back to its stronghold in the vast Sambisa forest in the past few months. While Friday’s markets highlighted Boko Haram’s ability to mount attacks still, the frequency at which it strikes has fallen.
(Reporting by Emmanuel Anda, Lanre Ola, Alexis Akwagyiram and Ardo Hazzad; Writing Ulf Laessing; Editing by Richard Lough)