Suicide bombers target Eid celebrations in Nigeria

Suicide bombings targeted civilians celebrating the Islamic holiday of Eid al Fitr in northeastern Nigeria yesterday. No group has claimed the massacre, but Abubakr Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram is believed to be responsible.

As the Eid celebrations in the town of Damboa were winding down and people were returning to their homes, the jihadists struck with near simultaneous suicide bombings. The bombers were reportedly strategically placed within a market and near houses close to the local mosque, according to CNN. At least 30 people were killed in the blasts.

The number of bombers was initially reported to be two, but Nigerian authorities raised this number to six and claimed all were young girls. Residents claimed that rockets were fired into the town shortly after the two initial suicide bombings, but officials denied this and said the explosions were the four other suicide bombers.

If confirmed to be six girls, that would raise the total number of female suicide bombers used by Shekau’s Boko Haram to at least 374 according to data compiled by FDD’s Long War Journal.

The bombings targeting Eid celebrations came as Shekau’s faction released a video showing its own Eid celebrations and prayers with many civilians in attendance also in northeastern Nigeria.

Earlier this month, Shekau’s Boko Haram targeted a mosque in Diffa, Niger. Two female suicide bombers, and one male bomber, detonated outside of a mosque as people were entering. At least six people were killed and another 30 were wounded in the blasts. Last month, at least 24 people were killed in another dual suicide bombing of a mosque in northeastern Nigeria.

Caleb Weiss is a contributor to FDD's Long War Journal.

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