Three killed in Boko Haram suicide bombing in Nigeria

This screen grab image taken from a video released on January 2, 2018 by militant group Boko Haram shows Boko Haram fighters during a Christmas Day attack on a military checkpoint in Molai village on the outskirts of the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri. (AFP)
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Updated 31 January 2020

Three killed in Boko Haram suicide bombing in Nigeria

  • The girl, aged around 12, detonated the device late Thursday when open-air classes were on in Muna Dalti
  • The two bombers sneaked into the area together but split to attack different targets

KANO, Nigeria: A girl detonated a bomb, killing three boys at an Islamic seminary in northeast Nigeria in an attack that bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, a local militia and residents said Friday.

The girl, aged around 12, detonated the device late Thursday when open-air classes were on in Muna Dalti, on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

She walked up to the group of boys who were just ending their lessons and “blew herself up in their midst,” Mohammed Bola, head of the militia in the area, told AFP.

“She killed three boys and injured four others,” Bola said about the attack which happened around 1900 GMT.

Moments earlier, another young girl stormed into a house in the area and detonated her explosives, injuring one person, said resident Salisu Mohammed.

“The house was totally destroyed. Luckily, no one was killed as the occupants of the house were outside chatting with neighbors,” he said.

The two bombers sneaked into the area together but split to attack different targets, Bola said.

The scene of the bombings, a popular night time venue for residents, has been repeatedly targeted by suicide attacks blamed on Boko Haram.

The militant group is notorious for suicide attacks on civilian targets including schools, mosques and motor parks.

In April, three people were killed and 33 injured in twin suicide blasts among a crowd in Muna Dalti which houses a sprawling camp for thousands displaced by the militia violence.

Another faction affiliated to the Daesh group focuses on military targets, although it has recently been blamed for attacks on civilians.

The decade-long violence has killed 35,000 people in northeast Nigeria and displaced around two million from their homes, creating a dire humanitarian crisis.

The conflict has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military response to combat the militant groups.


NATO says Greece and Turkey cancel military exercises

Updated 23 October 2020

NATO says Greece and Turkey cancel military exercises

  • “This is a very welcome step,” Stoltenberg said after a videoconference of NATO defense ministers
  • Turkey has deployed a gas exploration vessel under military escort into Greek waters

BRUSSELS: Turkey and Greece have agreed to cancel rival military exercises that were to have been held next week on their respective national days, NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday.
The neighbors, while NATO members, are at loggerheads over energy drilling and maritime rights in the eastern Mediterranean and the alliance has set up a hotline to head off accidental clashes.
“This is a very welcome step,” Stoltenberg said after a videoconference of NATO defense ministers, including Greece’s Nikos Panagiotopoulos and Turkey’s Hulusi Akar.
“These are steps in the right direction, and it helps to reduce the risks for instance and accidents.”
Greece had been expected to conduct exercises on Wednesday October 28, its Oxi Day holiday, and Turkey on Thursday, celebrated there as Republic Day.
Turkey has deployed the Oruc Reis, a gas exploration vessel under military escort into Greek waters off the island of Kastellorizo, and Greek vessels are nearby.
Addressing a news conference after two days of talks on a variety of topics, Stoltenberg confirmed he had raised the situation with the Greek and Turkish ministers.
“I will say that we had a good and constructive talks and allies expressed a strong support for the NATO de-confliction mechanism,” Stoltenberg said.
“I welcome now the fact that we have been able to see some concrete steps in that direction with the cancelation of the two exercises.”
French Defense Minister Florence Parly also hailed the decisions to cancel the military exercises, stressing the need to “respect international law and restore stability in the region.”
Stoltenberg also welcomed Germany’s diplomatic mediation in the underlying dispute.
On Thursday, he had warned that — while NATO could help keep the rival militaries apart — it would be down to Ankara and Athens to open a dialogue to resolve their long-standing differences.