10-year-old suicide bomber kills 19 in Maiduguri

The blast happened near the live chicken section of the Monday Market in the Borno State capital.(Photo: Reuters)

A suicide blast has rocked Borno State in Nigeria once again.

Yesterday, a bomb strapped to a girl suspected to be about 10 years of age detonated in the bustling Maiduguri market, killing at least 19 people and injuring several others. A security source told Reuters that the explosion happened at 12:15pm.

"Right now, there are 27 injured people in Borno Medical Hospital, while more were taken to other hospitals," civilian joint task force member Zakariya Mohammed said.

A witness said that the child bearing the explosives probably did not know what was wired around her body.

Another witness told Leadership that the bomb went off when members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, which aims to oust the terrorist group Boko Haram from the area, searched the girl and discovered the bomb beneath her garments.

"The two young men searching her died instantly while the girl's body was hurled by the force of the bomb to a distance of about 500 meters. Many people got injured but I saw seven bodies badly battered," recounted a market trader named Sani.

The incident happened at the exact place where two female suicide bombers carried out a similar attack late last year, leaving 78 people dead according to the BBC.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the deadly blast, but authorities suspect that Boko Haram is behind it.

The Islamic militant group, which has seized control of many towns and villages around Maiduguri and is feared to be preparing an assault to capture the city, has lately used females to carry out suicide attacks in its attempts to overthrow the government and create an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria.

According to the Telegraph, Boko Haram now controls about 20,000 square miles of territory in Nigeria. The state of Borno State, along with Yobe and Adamawa, continues to be in a state of emergency as the terrorist group proves relentless in its attacks. The Council on Foreign Relations estimates that over 10,000 lives have been lost last year in Boko Haram-related violence.