Schoolgirls being used by Boko Haram as suicide bombers
Chibok girls, Children in conflicts
The aftermath of a market bombing at Jos in December
Three young girls are reported to have blown themselves up in two deadly attacks in Nigeria.
In the first incident two days ago, a bomb strapped to a schoolgirl said to be aged about 10 exploded in the centre of Maiduguri, Borno state, killing at least 20 people.
Dozens of others were injured when the explosion rocked a market. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Boko Haram militants are increasingly using women and young girls as human bombs in their quest for an Islamic state.
“The explosive devices were wrapped around the girl's body,” a police source said. The market is reported to have recently been targeted twice in the same week by female bombers.
Then yesterday witnesses said two more girls aged about 10 blew themselves up at a market in Potiskum, Yobe state – which has been repeatedly attacked by Boko Haram. Three people died and more than 40 were injured.
A trader told the Reuters news agency: “I saw their dead bodies. They are two young girls of about 10 years of age … you only see the plaited hair and part of the upper torso.”
Potiskum was the scene of a bombing at a school assembly in November which killed at least 47 people, most of them students.
The attacks came just days after as many as 2000 people were reported killed by Boko Haram at and around the town of Baga in Borno state.
The group last year abducted more than 200 girls from the town of Chibok, which is just 80 miles from Maiduguri. Despite the worldwide #BringBackOurGirls campaign and an extensive search by government troops, the girls' fate is still unknown