16 killed in double suicide attack in NE Nigeria
Maiduguri (Nigeria) (AFP) - At least 16 people died in a double suicide bombing near a large camp for people made homeless by years of Boko Haram violence, Nigeria's emergency services and locals said Monday.
It was the biggest in a series of weekend attacks.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the attack took place at about 8:45 pm (1945 GMT) on Sunday close to the Dalori camp in Kofa village, near the Borno state capital Maiduguri.
Regional NEMA spokesman Abdulkadir Ibrahim said a first attack by two female suicide bombers had been thwarted by security personnel who stopped them getting into the camp.
"Two other female suicide bombers also detonated their explosives at the adjoining Dalori Kofa village, where they killed 16 people," he said in a statement.
Earlier tolls given by local people said at least 12 or 13 people had been killed but Abdulkadir said three of the injured had since died of their wounds.
"The 16 does not include the bombers," he told AFP.
Dalori is about 10 kilometres (six miles) southeast of Maiduguri and is one of the largest camps for internally displaced people (IDP) in the remote region.
There are nearly 50,000 people in the two Dalori camps, with Dalori 1 housing some 35,000 and Dalori 2, which was targeted in the bombings, sheltering around 10,000.
Boko Haram has previously tried to target the camp: at least 85 people were killed in January last year when insurgents rampaged through communities near Dalori.
A bloody weekend
The latest attack is the most deadly in Nigeria since June 8, when 11 people were killed in a rare combined gun and suicide attack in the Jiddari Polo area of Maiduguri.
Also at the weekend, Boko Haram attacked Gumsuri village, 20 kilometres from Chibok, killing five people late on Saturday, locals said.
But they were fought off by local vigilantes who engaged them in a gunbattle.
"The vigilantes got the upper hand. They killed 12 attackers and apprehended six others," said Bitrus Haruna, a vigilante from Chibok, whose account was corroborated by a community leader from the town.
"The Boko Haram gunmen were not lucky. They were confronted by the gallant vigilantes who killed 12 of the attackers and arrested six of them."
Then on Sunday, Boko Haram jihadists killed three soldiers in an ambush near Wajirko village, 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Maiduguri, a local vigilante said.
Last weekend, gunmen killed eight members of a civilian militia force assisting the military in the Konduga area not far from the Dalori camp.
The spate of bombings underlines the threat still posed by the jihadists, despite official claims they are a spent force.
Since the start of Boko Harm's uprising in 2009, at least 20,000 people have been killed since and more than 2.6 million made homeless, many of whom are facing severe food shortages or starvation.