• Lexi Ponder

Suicide bombers of Boko Haram attack Nigeria

Suicide bombers affiliated with the Nigeria-based terrorist group Boko Haram killed about 30 people while injuring more than about 80 others in Kano, Nigeria, on Aug. 15, 2017.

One of the three female suicide bombers ignited her belt, which contained the explosives, in a local market in the town of Mandarari, in Nigeria’s Borno State. The other two bombers set off their bombs at the gates to a nearby refugee camp.

“‘The first bomber struck outside the IDP (internally displaced persons) camp overlooking the market around six p.m. local time (one p.m. ET) hitting some people and causing confusion as people tried to flee,’ civilian vigilante Bukar Kyari said,” CNN reported. The number of fatalities was large due to the market owners being in the process of closing the shops for the day when the other two female bombers ignited the explosives.

Nigerian police suspected this to be an attack of terrorism due to the conflicts with Islamic states. The Guardian reported, “Nigeria’s military last year wrested back large swaths of territory from the Islamic insurgents. But they have struck back with renewed zeal since June, killing at least 143 people before Tuesday’s bombings and weakening the army’s control.”

However, according to CNN, “As of yet, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the Konduga district where it took place is a known flashpoint for Boko Haram attacks.”

Most would find the identity of a female bomber disturbing and confusing, but CNN reported that Boko Haram has historically used mostly women and children in its suicide attacks. According to researchers at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and Yale University, out of the 434 suicide bombings carried out by Boko Haram since 2011, at least 244 of the 338 attacks “in which the bomber’s gender could be identified were carried out by women.”