A suicide bomber killed four people late Wednesday in an attack on a camp for people displaced by Boko Haram violence in the northeast Nigeria, emergency services told AFP.
The bomber scaled the rear fence of an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp on the outskirts of the city Maiduguri and detonated his explosives in the crowd, said Garba Idris Garga, head of Nigeria’s emergency management agency (NEMA) in the northeast.
“He blew himself up among tents housing the IDPs,” Garga said, adding that 44 people were injured, some critically.
Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, Boko Haram jihadists are believed to be responsible, Garga said.
Minutes after the first attack, a female suicide bomber launched another attack but no one died or was injured.
“A female suicide bomber came around shops outside the camp where people were gathered. Luckily the people became suspicious of her and quickly dispersed before she detonated her explosives,” Garga said.
The latest attack came as Nigerian troops are engaged in military operations to flush out Boko Haram jihadists from their Sambisa forest enclave.
On Monday, officials in Borno state announced they were closing two main highways from Maiduguri leading to the forest, a jihadist stronghold, in a bid to prevent Boko Haram militants from fleeing and hiding in surrounding communities.
Boko Haram has launched multiple attacks on Maiduguri, the capital of northeast Borno state, in recent months.
On January 17, at least 10 people were killed and more than 50 were injured in a twin suicide attack on a market near an IDP camp close to Muna, on the outskirts of the city.
Boko Haram has repeatedly used young girls and women as suicide bombers to attack civilian “soft targets” including IDP camps, markets and mosques, although military sites have also been targeted.
Nigeria’s military and government maintain that the insurgents are a spent force after nearly nine years of violence that has claimed at least 20,000 lives and forced more than 2.6 million people from their homes.