Eight people are feared dead after a suicide bomber believed to be a member of the Boko Haram group, attacked a mosque in Borno State.
A civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) member, Ibrahim Liman, told AFP that the insurgent attacked the mosque located in the Mainari area of Konduga, in the early hours of Monday, where he detonated his explosives.
“The male bomber walked into the mosque at about 5:15 am (0415 GMT) while prayers were on and exploded, killing eight worshippers and injuring five others.
“Seven of the victims died in the mosque while another died on the way to (the Borno State capital) Maiduguri,” he said.
Suicide bombings against “soft” civilian targets such as mosques, markets and bus stations are the hallmark of the terrorist group led by Abubakar Shekau.
Many of the bombers used are young women and girls. However, Liman said the latest attack appeared to be carried out by a man in his early 20s.
Umar Goni, who lives in Konduga, said he was on his way to the mosque when the blast occurred and he helped to rescue victims with members of the civilian volunteer force.
“We pulled out seven dead bodies and six injured worshippers. One of the six injured died on the way to hospital.
“The bomber was disguised as a worshipper,” he said, adding: “There was no way anybody could have known his mission.”
Last week, at least six traders were killed when a convoy of lorries under military escort were ambushed in Borno State near the border with Cameroon.
There have also been a number of attacks on military convoys and bases in Borno and neighbouring Yobe state, with undisclosed casualties.
Soldiers and civilians have also been targeted in separate attacks in neighbouring Chad and Niger.
A suicide bombing Sunday targeting a warehouse in Kirkuk where ballot boxes from Iraq’s May elections were stored wounded 19 people, days before a vote recount, a security source said.
“Nine policemen, six members of a counter-terrorist unit and four civilians were wounded when a car bomb driven by a suicide bomber exploded at the main gate of the warehouse,” the source said.
The building was damaged by the blast but the ballot boxes were unaffected, said Rakan al-Juburi, the governor of Kirkuk north of Baghdad.
Iraq’s supreme court has ordered a manual vote recount in polling stations where results from the May legislative elections were contested following allegations of fraud.
The ballot was won by populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr’s electoral alliance with Communists, as long-time political figures were pushed out by voters seeking change in a country mired in conflict and corruption.
The vote recount is expected to begin on Tuesday in the Kurdish provinces of Arbil, Sulaymaniyah and Dohuk, as well as in Kirkuk, Nineveh, Salaheddin and Anbar, the spokesman of the electoral commission said on Saturday.
One person has been killed following a suicide bombing attack that occurred in Borno State in the early hours of today (Monday).
The Borno State Police Command confirmed this to Channels Television, adding that four others were also injured.
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Edet Okon, in a statement said a male suicide bomber had detonated an Improvised explosive device (IED), strapped to his body in a shop along Baga Road in Maiduguri Metropolis, also killing himself in the process.
According to Okon, those injured included two soldiers and two civilian JTF members.
The police, however, said men of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit, were immediately deployed to sanitize the scene and render the area safe.
Also according to the police, the wounded were rushed to the hospital where they are reportedly responding to treatment.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Damian Chukwu has, therefore, urged members of the public to be vigilant and to promptly report suspicious persons to the security agencies.
At least seven people were killed in a suicide bombing Monday near a gathering of top clerics in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, roughly one hour after the group proclaimed such attacks a sin, police said.
The blast in the western part of the city, near universities and a police academy, was claimed by the Islamic State group and is the latest demonstration of the militants’ ability to carry out attacks in the heart of Kabul, which is now the deadliest place in the country for civilians.
The bomber detonated at about 11:30 am (0700 GMT) at the gates of Kabul’s Polytechnic University, police and officials said. The Loya Jirga tent where thousands of clerics from across Afghanistan were meeting is on the campus.
The tent is a huge venue often used for top religious or government gatherings. “Loya Jirga” means “grand assembly” in Pashto.
Most of the casualties were civilians.
“According to our initial information, seven people have been killed including a policeman. Nine others have been injured, including two policemen,” police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told media.
Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish confirmed it was a suicide attack, and said the bomber had been on foot when he detonated his explosives at the university gate.
Police spokesman Stanikzai said the blast was outside the tent.
IS claimed the attack via their Amaq propaganda agency.
Both the Taliban and IS have stepped up their headline-grabbing assaults on the heavily fortified capital in recent months.
Roads around the university were quickly blocked by security officials after the blast, with heavy traffic jams building as many commuters headed home due to Ramadan, the holy Islamic fasting month, during which government offices close early.
Shortly after the first blast, a second explosion was heard, but police said it was a sticky bomb in a market several kilometres away which wounded an unspecified number of civilians.
– Civilians bearing the brunt –
Local media said thousands of clerics had gathered at the Loya Jirga tent for the meeting of the Ulema Council, Afghanistan’s top religious leaders.
Roughly an hour before the attack, they issued a fatwa against the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have been fighting an insurgency for nearly 17 years, while other militant groups have also been carrying out attacks.
The Ulema Council — seen by the militants as having some links to the government — termed suicide attacks and explosions “haram”, or prohibited in Islam. They have issued such fatwas in the past.
“Executing, financing and supporting such acts are against Sharia law,” they said in a statement tweeted by the government.
Fighting in the name of jihad in Afghanistan, where the majority of the population is Muslim, has “no legitimacy” in Islam, they added, calling for peace talks.
“As the war in which tens of people die on a daily basis is prolonged… then both sides, the government and the Taliban, should come to the negotiation table and put an end to the calamity.”
Washington condemned the attack on the clerics and scholars.
“Today’s attack targeting civilians and those religious leaders working towards peace in Afghanistan exposes the terrorists’ inhumanity and contradicts the Islamic principles and legitimacy they claim to defend,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
President Ashraf Ghani in late February proposed peace talks with the Taliban. The group has not officially responded, but deadly attacks have proliferated since then, particularly in Kabul.
The capital accounted for 16 per cent of all civilian casualties last year, when 1,831 civilians were killed or wounded nationwide, according to the United Nations.
The myriad attacks since 2017 included two of the deadliest in the city since the US invasion in late 2001 — a truck bomb on May 31, 2017 that killed more than 150 people, and an ambulance bomb on January 27 this year which killed more than 100.
The UN has warned that 2018 could be even deadlier.
Many fearful residents have restricted their movements as a result, afraid to linger in bazaars or to become trapped in traffic during rush hour, a prime time for attacks.
Eight persons have been injured following a suicide bombing attack that occurred in the outskirt of Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Borno State Police Public Relations Officer, Dsp Isuku Victor.
According to the statement, the incident which occurred at about 17:38hrs on Friday was reportedly carried out by two female suicide bombers who detonated their Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) against a vehicle on a feeder road off Maiduguri/Mafa highway, close to NDLEA checkpoint.
Only the two bombers died in the explosion, while the eight others including a personnel of NDLEA sustained injuries and have been rushed to a hospital where they are responding to treatment.
Also affected by the explosion was a golf taxi with reg. no XA 479 DRZ laden with bags of charcoal, carrying two female passengers and a Tricycle.
The police, however, said the scene has since been rendered safe by its EOD team and normalcy restored to the area.
About 35 people have been killed and around 40 more wounded following a suicide car-bomb attack on Monday, in Kabul, the Afghanistan capital which the Taliban has taken responsibility for.
Officials say the explosion went off in a Shi’ite Hazara community neighbourhood near the home of Deputy Government Chief Executive, Mohammad Mohaqiq, after which emergency vehicles rushed to the scene to tend to the injured.
According to the Taliban, however, the targets were two buses that had been under surveillance.
The government confirmed that a small bus, owned by the Ministry of Mines, was blown up in the blast.
Three other vehicles and 15 shops were damaged as well.
“I was in my shop when suddenly I heard a terrible sound and as a result all of my shop windows were shattered,” an witness said.
The Taliban has launched a wave of attacks around the country in recent days, battling a NATO-led coalition and western-backed government for control of Afghanistan.
There’s fighting in several provinces across the country and a resurgence of violence as the U.S. weighs the possibility of sending more troops to help the Afghan forces.
The Nigerian Army has assured the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) of more security support.
The Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Ibrahim Manu Yusufu gave this affirmation when he visited the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ibrahim Yusuf Abubarka Njodi at his office in Maiduguri, Borno State.
Yusufu who was accompanied by commanders and some principal staff officers from Headquarters 7 Division, sympathized with the University on the recent suicide bomber attacks and commended the staff and the VC for holding forth during the trial period.
The Nigerian Army says it is making more progress in the fight against terrorism as the Boko Haram terrorist group is now disintegrated.
Director, Defence Information, Maj. General John Enenche said this on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, while addressing the latest suicide bombing attack that occurred in Maiduguri on Monday.
“They don’t have a central command, they are not as coordinated as people think, they have dissenting views and before you say anything they can disintegrate.
“There are several factions of them and these are the people that have already acquired the little technology of making these explosives and these IEDs,” he said.
Although an unfortunate incident, Enenche explained that compared to cases in the past, the insurgents now only focus on soft targets causing a relatively low number of casualties.
“We are progressing in the real sense of it and we are going to overcome it. When you go into the records of how it all started some couple of years ago and looking at where we are now, compare it in the recent past, whereby they don’t have freedom of action even in terrorism again. They could just go into public buildings like churches and mosques and carry out these actions, you will see a very large number of casualties taking place but now that has been curtailed almost totally, limited to isolated attacks now and then to soft targets.
“Looking at what just happened, 16 casualties, (seven terrorists and nine innocent people), it is unfortunate that we had to lose those nine people but when you look again at the comparative analysis of the whole thing, we are making progress.”
A State Of Mind
Enenche opined that terrorism is a state of mind and that many terrorists have sold their souls to the act.
“Terrorism is a state of the mind – to de-indoctrinate them is more difficult than insurgence. These are people that may have sworn an oath that they must die in this. That is why you see some of them even detonating before the target they asked them to get to.”
Also, addressing the question of why the University of Maiduguri appears to be a regular target of the insurgents, Enenche explained that the insurgents have always been against western education hence the attacks.
On a general note, he also said the reason for what may appear to be a reprisal attack after the swap of some of the Chibok girls, could be because of the fact that the terrorist are now disintegrated.
He said while some groups may be in agreement with the swap deals that have taken place in the past, others may not, hence the fresh attacks afterwards.
He, however, assured Nigerians that the fight against terrorism is still improving daily and that the Military is doing its best to ensure that the insurgents are wiped out totally.
Also addressing the issue of some 38 soldiers who were dismissed, the military man said it was in connection with matters of national security.
According to him some of them were brilliant officers who were well in their courses but after administrative processes, they had to be dismissed on the basis of national security.