A young female suicide bomber on Tuesday, August 25, 2015, killed at least fifteen people and injured up to 28 others outside the main bus station in the northeastern Nigerian town of Damaturu, witnesses and an official said.
No group or individual has claimed responsibility but Boko Haram Islamists have in the past months used young women to carry out bloody suicide attacks in the restive northeast of the country.
“A young girl came around at 7:00 am (0600 GMT) and wanted to enter the bus station. She was denied entry because she refused to be searched by the security guards at the entrance,” a witness, Sani Dankamasho, told AFP.
A spokesman of the government of Yobe state, whose capital is Damaturu, confirmed the attack but gave a death toll of five.
“There was a suicide bombing in Damaturu…this morning where five people were killed from the explosion with more than 20 other victims injured,” Abdulahhi Bego said in a statement.
“The dead have been evacuated to a mortuary while the injured victims are currently being attended to by health and emergency workers,” the statement said.
Accoding to Dankamasho, the girl “stepped out of the park. A private taxi then drove out of the park. As soon as the car came close, she detonated the explosive. Six people in the car were killed. She was also killed,” he said.
A journalist working for a major private newspaper in Damaturu, who arrived at the scene shortly after the blast, also confirmed the death toll of six.
“Six people were killed as a result of the blast, all from the car. The bomber was also killed,” said the reporter, who demanded anonymity.
Boko Haram has stepped up attacks in three states in its northeastern heartland since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power on May 29, vowing to crush the group.
The Islamists have also carried out deadly ambushes across Nigeria’s borders and in recent weeks suicide bombers, many of them women, have staged several attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.