At least 31 people died and dozens more were injured after two suicide bombers and rocket-propelled grenades struck a northern Nigerian town, according to reports.
The attacks took place on Saturday evening in Borno state as people were coming home after celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The Punch, a local newspaper, reported that 48 people were injured. One unnamed official said, “The latest death toll is now 31 but it may increase because many among the injured may not survive.”
No organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it’s likely that Boko Haram, an ISIS-affiliated terrorist group, was behind it. The blast, according to reports, took place in the Damboa local government area in Borno, which is the at the center of a terrorist insurgency.
“It has destroyed our houses. We have also counted 31 innocent people including children and elderly killed in the attack,” said local resident Modu Usman, son of a community leader, according to a Reuters news agency.
Qatar-owned Al Jazeera reported that the attackers, after the blasts, fired rocket-propelled grenades into the crowds that gathered at the scene of the explosions.
“There were two suicide attacks and rocket-propelled grenade explosions in Damboa last night which killed 31 people and left several others injured,” Babakura Kola, from the Civilian Joint Task Force, told AFP on Sunday.
Local militia leader Babakura Kolo said that the rocket-propelled grenades killed the majority of the people. “No one needs to be told this is the work of Boko Haram,” he said, according to DW.com.
Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden,” has been waging a campaign in northern Nigeria for nearly a decade. Since 2009, some 20,000 people have been killed and around 2 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to Boko Haram’s activities, according to Al Jazeera.
In 2014, Boko Haram triggered international outrage when terrorists captured 300 schoolgirls in Chibok.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said that violence is “gradually drawing to end,” but the group continues to launch attacks in northern Nigeria.
“Boko Haram still maintains both the intent and operational capacity to launch mass casualty attacks in parts of northeastern Nigeria,” Ryan Cummings, an Africa analyst at the Signal Risk consultancy in South Africa, told AFP. “The Boko Haram insurgency is not showing any immediate signs of easing,” he said, adding that the recent rocket attack is significant because it “indicates that the sect continues to have access to military-grade weaponry.”
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