Twelve people were killed Wednesday by evening in four separate attacks by suicide bombers in the regional capital of Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria, rescue workers told AFP.
Two men and two women blew themselves up in the Muna neighbourhood at around 1700 GMT, the chief security officer of Borno State’s emergency response agency, Bello Dambatta, said.
“The total people who died in these four suicide bombings is 12, 16 including the bombers,” he told AFP. “Twenty-two people were taken to the Borno State Specialist Hospital for treatment to various injuries.”
The first suicide bomber blew himself up among people conducting an evening prayer, killing seven, Dambatta said.
A suicide bomber then entered a house before setting off explosives, killing a pregnant woman and her child.
The other two suicide bombers blew themselves up before reaching their targets, he added.
The Islamist extremists of Boko Haram have carried out a eight-year campaign of violence in Nigeria’s northeast.
The jihadist group does not always claim responsibility for attacks, but the method used in Wednesday’s attack — multiple suicide bombings — is a common tactic.
After growing in strength, the group, led by Abubakar Shekau, took control of a large area of northeastern Nigeria in 2014 and declared a caliphate.
At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.6 million people made homeless in northeast Nigeria since the group launched its insurgency.
In recent years the group has suffered a series of defeats and the Nigerian authorities have repeatedly stated it was about to be defeated, but attacks on villages and military convoys as well as suicide attacks against civilians continue.
On Friday, at least three Nigerian soldiers and a militiaman were killed and ten other soldiers wounded in an ambush by Boko Haram on the edge of Sambisa Forest, one of its strongholds in the northeast.