Over 50 Die in Five Boko Haram Suicide Attacks Saturday

AP Photo/ Jossy Ola
AP Photo/Jossy Ola

Maiduguri, Nigeria, the capital of Borno State, faced at least five suicide bombings in four areas on Saturday, which left over 50 people dead and 139 injured. Authorities reported at least one suicide bomber was a female. The country rescheduled its February 14 presidential election to March due to violence.

A woman strapped with explosives blew herself up at the busy Baga fish market. She was in a rickshaw, which is a two or three wheel passenger cart. The blast even killed children.

“A female suicide bomber exploded as soon as she stepped out of a motorised rickshaw,” stated Abubakar Gamandi, head of the fisherman’s union. “Eighteen people were killed.”

“I saw many dead bodies lying on the ground, many dead and several others badly injured,” cried market trader, Idi Idrisa.

Bombers exploded themselves at a post office shopping area as well. The death count was not confirmed, but witness Baban Musa “reported many casualties.” Another explosion took place at the Monday Market, only an hour later. That attack killed fifteen people. A trader told the BBC two female bombers held the explosives, “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.

The fourth explosion occurred at the Borno Express terminal. Witnesses reported at least twelve bodies at the scene. There was no confirmation if the people were dead, passed out, or injured.

Authorities blamed Boko Haram for the attacks .The group did not take responsibility for the attacks, but authorities said the attacks are similar to past bombings by the group.

“The terrorists are angry with the way they were sacked from towns and villages and are now venting their anger,” said Kaka Shehu, Borno State’s Justice Commissioner.

Nigeria postponed the presidential elections over concerns of potential attacks by Boko Haram. Officials decided on the postponement “after security officials pleaded more time to make voting safe in parts of the country seized by Boko Haram.” Critics claim the delay is motivated by politics, while others insist, “The delay would do little to weaken Boko Haram.”