Two girls, 7, carry out suicide bomb attack in busy market

By Toby Meyjes for

Two seven-year-old girls have carried out a suicide bomb attack on a busy market in Nigeria. The attack in the Maiduguri killed both the girls and one other person and left another 18 injured.

Emergency services and soldiers gather at the scene of a suicide bomb attack on a market in Maiduguri, after two girls approximately seven or eight years old blew themselves, killing themselves and wounding at least 17 others. The attack was not immediately claimed by the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency but bore all the hallmarks of the jihadists, who have regularly used women and young girls to carry out suicide attacks in their seven-year insurgent campaign in the troubled region. / AFP PHOTO / STRSTR/AFP/Getty Images

Boko Haram are believed to be behind the attack but have not claimed responsibility.

The group is known for using women and girls to carry out suicide attacks and similar tactics have been used elsewhere.

In Libya a female suicide bomber used three children as a decoy in a attack that killed four soldiers and injured another 12.

A member of the Maiduguri militia said he saw the girls immediately before the explosion, the Mail Online reported.

‘They got out of a rickshaw and walked right in front of me without showing the slightest sign of emotion,’ he said.

‘I tried to speak with one of them, in Hausa and in English, but she didn’t answer. I thought they were looking for their mother,’ he added.

‘She headed toward the poultry sellers, and then detonated her explosives belt.’

At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million displaced by the unrest caused by Boko Haram.

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