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Nigeria suicide bombings leave many dead

Explosions have hit a wedding, a hospital and a funeral, authorities have said

At least 18 people have been killed and 48 seriously wounded in three bomb blasts in an eastern Nigerian town, local authorities have said.

In a statement on Sunday, the Emergency Management Agency of the state of Borno (SEMA) said the first explosion ripped through a crowd gathered for a wedding in Gwoza, near the border with Cameroon. Police said a woman “detonated an improvised explosive device she had on her at a crowded motor park,” adding that she was seen carrying a baby on her back.

A few minutes later, a second explosion ripped through a hospital in Gwoza, and a third blast – also set off by a suicide bomber – struck a funeral, the agency said.

The fatalities included several children, and 48 people were severely injured, SEMA said, adding that the wounded are receiving all necessary treatment.

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A member of a local militia, as cited by AFP news agency, said two of his colleagues and a soldier were killed in a separate attack on a security post, a claim that has not been confirmed by the authorities.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has condemned the attacks, stressing that he and his government are “taking necessary measures to ensure the safety of citizens” and vowing that the perpetrators will face justice. So far no group has claimed responsibility.

Nigeria has for years been a hotbed of terrorism, with Islamic State West Africa and Boko Haram carrying out frequent attacks. Boko Haram waged an armed insurgency in 2009 in a bid to establish an Islamic state in the region, killing tens of thousands of people and displacing millions.

While former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in 2019 that Boko Haram had been defeated, the group still frequently targets civilians and security personnel. In late 2023, it killed around 40 villagers in two separate raids in the northeast of the country.

June 30, 2024 at 07:12PM

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