At about 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning, a suicide bomber in a motorized rickshaw detonated a bomb in a crowded market in Maiduguri, killing six people and injuring 11 others. The bomber appeared to also die in the attack.
Situated in the northeast of Nigeria, Maiduguri has come under heavy attack from Islamic fundamentalist Boko Haram for several years – and the group has claimed responsibility for the deaths of over 600 people since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in May this year.
The ultimate agenda of the group which recently claimed affiliation with the Islamic State (ISIS) of Iraq is to establish an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria.
No one has claimed responsibility for the Friday attack, but the Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says the attack has the imprint of Boko Haram insurgents.
“The wreckage of the tricycle used by the bomber was there. I saw the charred body of the bomber,” said Usman Ali, adding that he saw rescue workers removing bodies from the scene.
In a related development, the Chadian Army on Friday claimed killing 117 Boko Haram extremists who invaded Lake Chad.
“117 terrorists have been killed, two Chadian soldiers died and two others were wounded in the operation against the Nigeria-based movement, which began two weeks ago,” said Chadian army spokesman, Col. Azem Bermendoa Agouna.
“For two weeks, Boko Haram terrorists have been trying to infiltrate our islands on Lake Chad to carry out attacks on peaceful citizens,” Col. Agouna added. “Our armed forces and security forces have launched a vast offensive to dig out and neutralize these terrorists on these islands.”
“Several boats have been destroyed and several weapons of different calibres have been recovered,” Azem said, disclosing the operation which was targeted on the island villages of Koungya, Merikouta, Choua and Blarigui. “The sweep continues and the definitive toll will be released later.”
There has been no independent confirmation of the Chadian army’s claim.