Two girls approximately seven or eight years old blew themselves up in a northeastern market on Sunday, killing themselves and wounding at least 17 others, witnesses said.
The girls were “seven or eight”, a local militia member in Maiduguri, Abdulkarim Jabo, told AFP.
Emergency services on-site in the town, the epicentre of the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency, said 17 people sustained injuries.
Maiduguri militia-man Jabo said he saw the girls Sunday immediately before the explosion.
“They got out of a rickshaw and walked right in front of me without showing the slightest sign of emotion,” he said.
“I tried to speak with one of them, in Hausa and in English, but she didn’t answer. I thought they were looking for their mother,” he added.
“She headed toward the poultry sellers, and then detonated her explosives belt.”
The attack was not immediately claimed by Boko Haram but bore all the hallmarks of the jihadists, who have regularly used women and young girls to carry out suicide attacks in their seven-year insurgent campaign in the troubled region.
On Friday at least 45 people died and 33 others were wounded in another double suicide attack carried out by female bombers in the northeast.