Two suicide bombers kill at least 14 in Nigeria’s Kano

Two young female suicide bombers kill at least 14 people, wound more than 100 in Nigerian city of Kano

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Soldiers and policemen are pictured at the scene where two female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a mobile phone market in the northern Nigerian city of Kano on November 18, 2015

Updated Nov 19, 2015

At least 14 people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded on Wednesday after two female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a mobile phone market in northeast Nigerian city of Kano, the country's emergency response agency said.

"Over 100 persons injured and 14 others lost their lives in today's market bomb blast in Kano," said Sani Datti, a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The blasts took place around 4pm local time (1500GMT) at the Farm Center phone market with one of the suicide bombers said to be aged 11 and the other 18.

"A minibus carrying some women came to the Farm Centre GSM market and dropped off one girl aged about 11 and another aged about 18, both wore the hijab," said Kano police spokesman Musa Magaji Majia.

"One went inside the market, the other stayed outside then they exploded, killing themselves and others nearby," he added.

"The victims were taken to hospital and it was later confirmed that 15 people died, not including the suicide bombers."

Majia stated that Nigerian police were hunting four women in the vehicle that dropped off the two young suicide bombers at the Kano market.

The explosions bear the hallmarks of Boko Haram indicating that the militant group is stepping up its operations. They are also thought to have been retaliation for an earlier call by the Emir of Kano, a traditional leader, for citizens to take up arms against the group.

The attacks came a day after an explosion had killed 32 people, wounded 80 others in the northeastern Nigerian city of Yola on Tuesday night, which also resembled ones conducted by militant group Boko Haram which has killed thousands of people over the last six years in an attempt to create a state of its own in the northeast of the country.

People gather at the scene of a bomb blast at a fruit and vegetable market in the Jimeta area of Yola, Adamawa, Nigeria

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari described both attacks as “barbaric” and “cowardly”. He has given his military commanders until next month to crush the militant group, calling for increased vigilance to stop further attacks against “soft” targets and said the government was “very much determined to wipe out Boko Haram in Nigeria".

"Nigeria's reinvigorated, well-equipped and well-motivated armed forces and security agencies (will) overcome Boko Haram very soon," Buhari said.

Boko Haram previously used young girls as suicide bombers in its six-year insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

In July 2014, blasts hit Kano four times in the space of a week carried out by a spate of young female suicide bombers who reportedly were not willing to conduct the attacks.

Boko Haram has killed around 1,000 people since Buhari took power in May after pledging to crush the militant group.

"President Buhari reassures Nigerians that his administration is very much determined to wipe out Boko Haram in Nigeria and bring all perpetrators of this heinous crime against humanity to justice," said presidency spokesman Garba Shehu.

Suspected Boko Haram militants have reportedly conducted attacks in neighbouring countries including Chad, Niger and Cameroon in recent weeks. However, the group has not attacked northeastern Nigeria since late October when bombings in Yola and Maiduguri killed at least 37 people.

TRTWorld and agencies