Nigeria Attacks Kill 17 as Boko Haram Releases New VideoMichael Olukayode and Mustapha Muhammad
Suicide attacks in northern Nigeria killed at least 17 people on the same day Islamist group Boko Haram released a new video reaffirming its allegiance to Islamic State.
The bombings in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, also injured 11 people, state governor Ibrahim Gaidam said in a statement e-mailed by his office. Damaturu residents said two suicide bombers, one disguised as a Muslim cleric, detonated explosives along the Gashua road just after 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Those blasts came 12 hours after at least 20 people died in twin explosions at mosques in Gubio, a town in Borno state, one of the regions worst affected by Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency in Africa’s largest crude producer and biggest economy.
Hassan Ibrahim, a member of a youth vigilante group that fights alongside the Nigerian army, said by phone that the Gubio attacks were timed to coincide with evening prayers.
Boko Haram has killed thousands of people since it began its campaign of violence in 2009. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to crush the uprising, which has spilled over into neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon. On Oct. 2, two suicide bombers killed 15 people in towns on the outskirts of the capital, Abuja.
In a video posted on YouTube on Wednesday, an unidentified man claiming to be a member of Boko Haram said Abubakar Shekau continues to lead the group. Shekau, said repeatedly by the Nigerian army to be dead, hasn’t appeared in the insurgency’s most recent videos.
The individual in the footage, who spoke in Hausa and Arabic, restated the group’s allegiance to Islamic State, and denied claims made by the Nigerian army that it’s close to defeating the rebellion. The video’s authenticity couldn’t be independently verified.
“The Nigerian military has been spreading propaganda that our members have surrendered to them, it is a lie,” the man said in the video.
For more, read this QuickTake: Boko Haram