A female suicide bomber killed five people on Tuesday when she blew herself up in a mosque in northeast Nigeria, in the latest attack blamed on Boko Haram jihadists, local militiamen told AFP.
The bomber stormed the mosque in the town of Dikwa, 90 kilometres (60 miles) from Maiduguri, at around 5:00 am (0400 GMT) and detonated her explosives.
“A female bomber attacked the mosque during morning prayers, killing five worshippers,” said Ibrahim Liman, leader of a local militia fighting alongside the Nigerian army against the jihadists.
Three other worshippers were injured in the attack, he said, calling it “the handiwork of Boko Haram who have become notorious for such attacks”.
Another militiaman Umar Ari confirmed Liman’s account.
Soldiers in the town later intercepted another female bomber who blew herself up when asked to stop for a search, said Ari.
No one was harmed in the second blast.
The local market was shut to avert further attack as soldiers and militiamen combed the town in search of two other suspected female bombers, Liman said.
News of the attack was slow to emerge due to poor communication as a result of destruction of telecom masts by Boko Haram insurgents in the region.
Boko Haram’s armed rebellion in northeast Nigeria has killed 20,000 people and displaced 2.6 million in the past eight years.
The Sunni jihadist group has increasingly used suicide bombers, mostly women and young girls, to attack military checkpoints and soft targets including mosques, schools, motor parks and displaced camps.
In February 2016, at least 58 people were killed and 78 injured when two female bombers struck at a camp in Dikwa housing people displaced by the Boko Haram violence.