Three suicide attacks simultaneously in Nigeria, 18 people including women and children killed

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Barkindo Saidu, director general of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, said the first blast occurred at a wedding ceremony in the northeastern city of Gwoza. This was followed by explosions at a hospital and a funeral. In the past, Boko Haram has used women and girls in suicide bombings.

Suicide attack in Nigeria

Female suicide bombers targeted a wedding, a funeral and a hospital in Nigeria on Sunday, killing at least 18 people. Barkindo Saidu, director general of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, said the first explosion occurred during a wedding ceremony in the northeastern city of Gwoza.

Saidu said that a few minutes later, another explosion occurred near the General Hospital. The third attacker was disguised as a mourner at the funeral. Children and pregnant women were among the dead. At least 30 others were injured.

Use of women in suicide bombings

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. Borno state has been hit hard by an insurgency launched in 2009 by the Boko Haram Islamist extremist group. In the past, Boko Haram has used women and girls in suicide bombings, raising suspicions that some of the attackers were among the thousands of people the extremists have abducted over the years, including schoolchildren.

Nigerian President expressed grief

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu called the attacks a desperate act of terrorism in a statement. The insurgency, which has spread across borders around Lake Chad, has killed more than 35,000 people, displaced more than 2.6 million people and created a massive humanitarian crisis.

Islamic State in Nigeria

Boko Haram, with a branch affiliated with the Islamic State group, seeks to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria. West Africa's oil giant's population of 170 million people is divided almost evenly between the mainly Christian south and the mainly Muslim north.

1,500 students kidnapped

Recent suicide bombings in Borno have raised significant concerns about the security situation in the region. Authorities imposed a curfew in the town. Gwoza is just a few kilometres from Chibok, where 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped in 2014. About 100 girls are still in captivity. Since then, at least 1,500 students have been kidnapped across Nigeria as armed groups find the practice a lucrative way to finance their criminal activities and take control of villages.