Suicide Bomber Dies in Failed Northeast Nigerian Attack: Witnesses

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Kano, Nigeria:  A suicide bomber was killed on Tuesday when his explosives vest detonated as he rode towards a security checkpoint in the northeast Nigerian city of Gombe, witnesses told AFP.

A huge explosion rocked the Kasuwar Mata area of the city around 6:30 pm (1730 GMT) while most residents of the mainly Muslim city were at evening prayers.

A young boy standing by the roadside was injured in the blast.

"We were inside the mosque praying when we heard a loud explosion," said Kasuwar Mata resident Badamasi Mustapha.

"When we rushed out we found a motorcycle on fire and dismembered body parts of a man just 100 metres (yards) from the checkpoint."

Mustapha said residents believed the bomber planned to hit the checkpoint, which is manned by a joint military and police squad fighting the city's notorious "Kalare" street thugs.

An angry mob gathered the bomber's scattered body parts, whipped them and set them on fire, witnesses said.

Gombe has been repeatedly hit by suicide and other bombings since July last year, mostly targeting bus stations and a military barracks.

Boko Haram militants waging a six-year insurgency to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria have been blamed for an upsurge in violence in the region, as elections approach next month.

On Saturday, 19 people were killed when explosives strapped to a girl thought to be just 10 years old detonated at a market in the Borno State capital, Maiduguri.

The following day, at least four were killed when two female suicide bombers hit another market in the commercial capital of Yobe state, Potiskum.

On January 3, hundreds of civilians, if not more, are feared to have been killed in the fishing town of Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad in northern Borno state.


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