At least six people were killed after explosives strapped to two children detonated in the northeastern Nigerian city of Damaturu on Tuesday.
A girl about 12-years-old exploded around 7:30 a.m. at a motor park in the capital of Yobe state, killing herself and three others, police spokesman Toyin Gbadegesin said.
The motor park blast also injured 22 others, who have been taken to the city’s general hospital, Bashir Idris Garga, a National Emergency Management Agency official, said from Damaturu. Meanwhile, the bombs carried by a boy detonated as a man tried to disarm him in the city’s Pompari area.
“The girl was accosted by those manning the entrance to the motor park and while they were trying to search her she detonated the bomb which had a major impact on an already loaded bus,” Garga said.
While nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, Boko Haram Islamist militants are increasingly using children to carry out bombings on crowded places such as markets and bus parks in Nigeria’s northeast.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to crush the insurgent group, which has waged a six-year rebellion to impose its version of Islamic law in Africa’s most populous nation. Boko Haram has killed thousands and displaced more than 1.5 million people in its bloody campaign.
The bombings come a day after United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Buhari in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, and said he was “hopeful” for the rapid deployment of a 8,700 strong West African regional force to battle the militants.
Buhari accepted Ban’s invitation to attend a Sept. 28 meeting of world leaders in New York to devise a new plan to combat extremism. U.S. President Barack Obama and President Francois Hollande of France will take part in the discussions.