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Multiple deaths in Nigeria rickshaw suicide bombings

At least eight people have died after female suicide bombers detonated devices in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri. One of the pair of bombers had followed a fuel tanker in an effort to inflict maximum casualties.

The explosions took place at least 10 minutes apart on Saturday, with both being carried out by female bombers riding in motorized rickshaws.

The first of the blasts was at the entrance to a refugee camp holding more than 16,000 people fleeing violence from the Islamist terror group Boko Haram.

"A suspected female suicide bomber ran into a group of men and women at the entrance while they were coming out of the camp, killing five men and injuring 11 women," said a statement from military spokesman Col. Mustapha Anka, who said there was only one attacker.

The second explosion was about a kilometer away, with the tricycle taxi carrying two passengers detonating outside a gas station. The driver was said to be trying to get near a fuel tanker "with the sole aim of gaining entry to cause maximum damage and casualty."

Three people were said to have died in the second attack. Anka said that, in both bombings, the perpetrators had been prevented from entering the refugee camp.

Boko Haram has increased attacks after a lull of months, thought to have been caused by a leadership struggle in the "Islamic State"-affiliated group.  Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has also led a successful offensive since coming into office last year.

More than 20,000 people have been killed in the insurgency, which has spread across borders and forced some 2.6 million people from their homes. The violence has spread into neighboring Niger,  Chad and Cameroon. Boko Haram garnered global attention when it kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014.

Nearly 50,000 children are now facing death by starvation, amid disruption to trade routes and farms, according to UNICEF. 

rc/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)

 

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