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Child suicide bomber carries out attack in northern Nigeria

A girl has blown herself up at a bus station in Nigeria. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but the incident bore the hallmarks of Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

A girl of about 12 years carried out a suicide attack at a bus station in northeastern Nigerian town of Damaturu, killing at least seven people and injuring at least 30 people, police said on Saturday.

The targeted bus station in Damaturu, the capital of the northern Nigerian state of Yobe, has been repeatedly targeted in a string of previous suicide attacks.

Resident Lawan Biu, who witnessed the incident, said security officers at the market's car park entrance let the girl pass unchecked, possibly due to her age and the hijab she was wearing.

"She was such a little girl that no one would think would be used for such a dastardly act," Biu told the German DPA news agency.

Danbaba Nguru, a shopkeeper who witnessed the attack, said, "I think she noticed the guards checking people at the gates and she decided to detonate the explosives in the middle of the crowd outside the gates."

No group claimed responsibility yet

No claim of responsibility for the attack has been made but any group but the incident bore hallmarks of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has frequently forced girls and boys to carry out suicide attacks.

In February, a female suicide bomber attacked the same bus station, leaving seven dead and 32 injured, the AFP news agency reported.

Boko Haram to build an Islamic state in Nigeria

Mustapha Zannah, the deputy governor of the neighboring Borno state, announced on Saturday the fall of Marte - located on a strategic trading route between Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad - to the Islamists, AFP reported.

Boko Haram took over territory lager than Belgium last year, killing thousands of people and displacing some 1.5 million.

The group has been fighting a six-year insurgency in a bid to establish an Islamic State in northern Nigeria.

ra/sms (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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