Girls as young as 10 now used as suicide bombers

TWO suspected child suicide bombers blew themselves up in a market in northeast Nigeria, witnesses said.

Three people were killed in the second attack in two days using young girls strapped with explosives.

The blasts struck mid-afternoon on Sunday at an open market in the town of Potiskum in Yobe state, which has frequently been attacked by the jihadist group Boko Haram.

A trader said the bombers were about 10 years old. “I saw their dead bodies. They are two young girls – you only see the plaited hair and part of the upper torso.”

A source at a Potiskum hospital said three people had been killed, excluding the bombers, and 46 injured.

The town was hit by a suicide bomber in November when at least 48 people, mainly pupils, were killed during a school assembly. On Saturday, a bomb exploded at a police station in Potiskum.

Sunday’s explosions came a day after a bomb strapped to a girl exploded in a busy market place in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 20, security sources said.

The army’s inability to quash Boko Harm is a headache for President Goodluck Jonathan, who is seeking reelection in February.

Last year, more than 10 000 people died in the violence.

The military lost ground in Borno state last weekend after insurgents took over the town of Baga and nearby army base, killing more than 100 people and forcing thousands to flee.

The defence headquarters said the army was regrouping to retake the area.

– Reuters

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