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Suicide bombings kill 13 in Nigeria

Published 03/07/2015

Boko Haram has launched a series of attacks in Nigeria this week
Boko Haram has launched a series of attacks in Nigeria this week

Two female suicide bombers have killed 13 people at a crowded market and a military checkpoint in north-eastern Nigeria, according to witnesses.

It is the fourth attack this week in which more than 160 have been killed as Boko Haram extremists appear to be following an Islamic State group order to step up attacks in the holy month of Ramadan.

In the most deadly attack, militants targeted several mosques in north-eastern Kukawa town on Tuesday and gunned down nearly 100 praying worshippers.

Security guard Abba Shehu said the latest attacks began with an explosion involving a teenage girl at Malari village market outside Maiduguri city. He said at least 10 people were killed.

Minutes later a woman in a taxi blew up at a military checkpoint, killing a soldier and two passengers.

The militants, who want to impose their strict version of shariah law across Nigeria, often defile mosques where clerics preach against their extremism.

While they have also attacked churches, many more Muslims are among an estimated 13,000 people killed in the six-year Islamic uprising.

Amnesty International puts the toll at 17,000 dead. Another 1.5 million people have been driven from their homes.

There are fears Boko Haram is using some of its thousands of captives as weapons.

Boko Haram took over a large region of north-eastern Nigeria last year and stepped up cross-border raids. Nigeria and its neighbours deployed a multinational army that forced the militants out of towns and had them hemmed into the Sambisa Forest, b ut bombings and village attacks have increased in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Boko Haram militants slit the throats of 11 alleged "traitors", witnesses said, in the first news of desertions from the extremist group.

The militants arrived before dawn and went door to door in north-eastern Miringa town, said resident Muhammad Kimba.

"They actually dragged out 11 persons to the Eid praying ground outside the town and slaughtered all of them," said Mr Kimba.

President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the latest attacks, calling them "desperate acts" that underscore the need to speed up full deployment of the multinational army.

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