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Boko Haram Suicide Bombing at Nigerian Mosque Kills 16

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Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in Vice News. We reprint in part here. 

Boko Haram militants reportedly fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) during an attack early Saturday morning in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri that left at least 30 people dead. A suicide bomber also targeted a mosque near the city’s main market on Saturday afternoon, reportedly killing at least 16 people.

The attacks came just one day after new Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari vowed during his inauguration to take on the “godless” militant group.

Ali Bakomi, a witness to the blast at the mosque, said the bomber was pushing a wheelbarrow and pretending to be an itinerant trader at the nearby market when he joined worshippers, according to the Associated Press. The bomber reportedly killed himself and at least 16 others.

The RPG attack on Maiduguri, the capital of the Nigeria’s restive Borno state, reportedly began at around 1am local time. One resident said he heard at least 40 grenade blasts before he lost count.

“Each time they fired into the town, we saw bright sparkling flashes which moved with great speed… One of the blasts shook my roof so badly that I thought it must have landed on my house,” Mari Madu told the AP.

According to a Nigerian intelligence officer who spoke with the AP on the condition of anonymity, soldiers fired “heavy assault rifles” to drive back the militant attackers. Maiduguri resident Idrissa Mandara said at least five children were killed in the attack.

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