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Female bomber kills six in Nigeria, 10-year-old with explosives held

A police detective inspects the site of a suicide blast outside the central administration building of the Kano State Polytechnic institute in the northern Nigerian city of Kano on July 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Aminu ABUBAKAR

KANO, Nigeria: A female suicide bomber killed six people at a college campus in Nigeria’s Kano city Wednesday, the fourth time Boko Haram were suspected of using a female attacker in as many days. The latest violence came as the government announced the arrest of a 10-year-old girl with explosives strapped to her chest in a nearby area.

Boko Haram is blamed for killing more than 10,000 people since 2009 and their extreme tactics have been denounced worldwide, including on some jihadi websites. But what appears to be a new tactic of deploying young women and girls as bombers will spur further outrage, as Nigeria seems unable to contain the violence.

An assailant blew herself up at a notice board on the campus of the Kano Polytechnic College Wednesday, where students had crammed to check their assignments for a mandatory youth civil service program.

It was the fourth attack by a female bomber in Kano since the weekend.

A young woman injured five police officers Sunday as she blew herself up at a another campus in the city.

The next day, two young women believed to be in their late teens or early 20s separately attacked a petrol station and a shopping center, suicide blasts that killed at least three people and injured 13 others.

Government spokesperson Mike Omeri said security forces Tuesday stopped a car in Kano’s neighboring state of Katsina and arrested three suspected Boko Haram members.

The group included one male and two girls, aged 18 and 10.

The “10-year-old ... was discovered to have been strapped with an explosive belt,” he said.

The chilling trend of deploying young women and girls as bombers comes three-and-half months after Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from the remote town of Chibok in the northeast.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 31, 2014, on page 11.

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