Five suicide bombers killed at least eight people and wounded an estimated 20 others when they carried out attacks in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram terrorists and the epicenter of efforts to combat the jihadist group.
Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
The Associated Press (AP) learned of Wednesday’s fatalities from unnamed Nigerian officials and the country’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
NEMA revealed that the suicide bombs were detonated at different locations along the Maiduguri-Gamboru highway Wednesday morning, including at a camp for people internally displaced by Boko Haram where two civilians lost their lives.
The five suicide bombers were also killed, according to the emergency management agency.
Maiduguri “is the frequent target of suicide bombers. Boko Haram recently has begun using young females as bombers, but officials say all of the attackers on Wednesday were men,” reports AP.
Boko Haram jihadists are increasingly using women and children as suicide bombers, recent attacks show.
Maiduguri is the capital of northern Nigeria’s Borno state.
Regional authorities have identified northern Nigeria’s Sambisa Forest as the terrorist group’s primary stronghold. It covers parts of the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Kano.
The Nigerian government has falsely taken responsibility for Boko Haram’s demise on various occasions just to have the group soon after that continue to wreak havoc in Nigeria and other neighboring countries, primarily Cameroon, Niger, and Chad.
Boko Haram also released a propaganda video last week showing the execution of three alleged spies — “two by gunshot and one by beheading,” revealed the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi activity online.
Earlier this month, the top commander of U.S. military activity in Africa told lawmakers that the Islamic terrorist threat in the continent goes beyond ideology due to the massive population of poor young people, noting that the economic crisis facing them was “the biggest challenge” in the region.
Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the head of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “We could knock off all the ISIL and Boko Haram this afternoon, [but] by the end of the week, so to speak, those ranks would be filled.”
He pointed out that young Africans are joining Islamic extremist groups because “they needed a job, they needed a livelihood. It’s not, for the most part in those regions, about ideology.”
In the past year alone, the United States has invested hundreds of millions in American taxpayer funds to provide assistance the Lake Chad region where Boko Haram primarily operates.
An additional $40 million has been devoted to border security efforts in Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Nigeria.
In those countries, a task force of more than 10,000 African troops, backed by the United States, Britain, and France, are fighting to annihilate Boko Haram.