Two women suicide bombers set off a deadly blast in a Nigerian mosque Wednesday, officials and witnesses said, killing at least 22 people in an attack similar to others carried out by the Islamist militants Boko Haram.
The attackers entered a mosque in the major northern city of Maiduguri, witnesses said, near the site of suicide bombings that claimed 86 lives in January.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But sending women and children wrapped with explosives to civilian targets has been a hallmark of some of Boko Haram’s most recent attacks. The Nigerian military has forced the terrorist group from much of its territory across the country’s northeast, but it has maintained an ability to conduct devastating attacks.
People inspect a damaged mosque following a suicide bomb explosion in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Photo / AP
“So far 22 people have been confirmed dead and 35 others injured,” Borno State Emergency Management Agency spokesman Abdullahi Omar told the AFP news agency.
After Wednesday’s attack, residents of Maiduguri posted photos of the carnage: piles of limbless bodies and a decapitated head that some said belonged to one of the suicide bombers.
In an interview, an international aid official said the two attackers were women. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to comment on the attack.
In late January, 86 people were killed in a village just outside Maiduguri in an attack that included three suicide bombers. The attack came just a month after a speech by Nigeria’s president, Mohammadu Buhari, declaring that Boko Haram had been “technically” defeated.