Nigerian city of Maiduguri hit by multiple blasts

07.03.2015 21:25

Two crowded markets and a busy bus station
were targeted by suicide bombers, witnesses
Witnesses in one of the markets described
gory scenes with men, women and children
lying on the ground.
Maiduguri was once the stronghold of the
militant group Boko Haram, which is seeking
to establish an Islamic state.
The Islamist group has not yet commented on
the latest attacks, but it has used suicide
bombers before.
After being pushed out of Maiduguri last
year, the Islamist fighters retreated to the
nearby Sambisa Forest from where they
launched attacks on villages and towns in the
north-east, taking over swathes of territory.
'Detonated at security gate'
The attacks took place over about three hours
- the first one targeting the city's Baga fish
The explosion was caused by a suicide
bomber in a rickshaw, eyewitnesses told the
It was not clear if the bomber was male or
Later Monday Market came under an attack. A
trader there told the BBC that two other
female bombers seemed to have exploded
One had a bomb strapped to her body that
detonated as she was being scanned at the
gate leading into the market, he said.
Another woman exploded the bomb she was
carrying in a bag a few feet away, he added.
It was difficult to know how many people had
died as body parts littered the area.
The third blast was at the Borno Express bus
station where it is reported that there were
two explosions.
Boko Haram at a glance
Founded in 2002, initially focused on
opposing Western-style education - Boko
Haram means "Western education is
forbidden" in the Hausa language
Launched military operations in 2009 to
create Islamic state
Thousands killed, mostly in north-
eastern Nigeria - has also attacked
police and UN headquarters in capital,
Abducted hundreds, including at least
200 schoolgirls
Controls several north-eastern towns
Launched attacks on neighbouring states
Why is Boko Haram so strong?
Soldiers without weapons
A survivor of the first blast said it occurred
when a boy aged about 16 moved into a
crowd by the gates holding what looked like a
remote control.
Security officials were about to stop the
teenager when there was a blast, he told the
The witness said he was blown over by the
impact and when he came to he saw at least
six dead bodies.
Muhammad Kanar, the co-ordinator of the
National Emergency Management Agency in
the north-east, told the BBC that his rescue
workers had counted a total of 49 people
dead from all the blasts.
Last week, Nigeria's President Goodluck
Jonathan said the tide has "definitely turned"
against militant Islamists as Nigerian troops
and their regional allies recapture territory.
Nigeria's presidential and parliamentary
elections have been postponed by six week to
28 March to give troops more time to beat
back Boko Haram.
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