News / Africa

Female Suicide Bombers Strike in Nigeria

Security officers patrol the Kano State Polytechnic campus in northern Nigeria, where a female suicide bomber blew herself up, July 30, 2014.
Security officers patrol the Kano State Polytechnic campus in northern Nigeria, where a female suicide bomber blew herself up, July 30, 2014.
Heather Murdock

College students in the northern Nigerian city of Kano were reading a campus notice board, seeing what post-graduation public service job they would be assigned to, when a girl in their midst blew herself up.

The horrific attack Wednesday at Kano State Polytechnic killed six people and injured at least seven others at the college.

It was the fourth female suicide bombing in northern Nigeria since Sunday, when a 15-year-old blew herself up. Two others did the same on Monday, at a trade show and petrol station. In a separate incident, police arrested a 10-year-old girl wearing a suicide belt. 

Boko Haram insurgents are recruiting women and girls for attacks, police spokesman Frank Mbah said. “They take advantage of the fact that women raise fewer suspicions."

Some analysts fear the bombers are not recruits, but instead are among the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram kidnaped in April from the town of Chibok.

Find the girls, activists say

Activists with Bring Back Our Girls, a group demanding the schoolgirls’ rescue, say the government should be doing more to find them.

"The children are our children and we will continue to fight and we will continue to tell the government and we will continue to talk about it until these children are rescued alive, and within the shortest time period," said Hafsat Babba, an organizer of the group.

Last month, police said a female suicide bomber struck in Lagos, Nigeria's financial capital, far from the war zone. She was the only person killed.

Jibrin Ibrahim, executive director of the Center for Democracy and Development in Abuja, said the Islamist militant insurgency is growing in its reach and capacity for violence. It has left thousands of people dead this year alone.

"The evidence is quite clear that the insurgency is getting worse,” Ibrahim said. “And the capacity of the state to stop the insurgency appears to be declining."

Nigeria needs help from the U.S. and other countries to stop the militants, say analysts such as Moses Ochonu, an associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

"I think the United States can play the role of putting pressure on the Nigerian government, causing them to do more, but also working with international partners as well to help the Nigerian government to actually optimize its effort in its fight against Boko Haram," Ochonu said.

He said it’s not just the military that needs help but all of northern Nigeria, where jobs and education are in short supply.

Boko Haram, Ochonu said, recruits undereducated young people who lack jobs and believe neither their government nor any other entity cares for them.

Ibrahima Yakubu contributed to this report from Kaduna.

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Comment Sorting
by: MAKIYYU from: KANO
August 06, 2014 8:31 AM

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 01, 2014 5:54 AM
It is absolutely impossible for the girls kidnapped in the 100+ days ago to become that radicalized so that they agree to turn themselves into human bombs to kill their fellow country people. Even though boko haram showed them to dress in islamic covering and reciting islamic verses that the slave masters forced them to learn, give them another ten years, they will still remember that they were abducted and that they do not belong there. Even those who initially had sympathy for the religion are rethinking their stand, because no one wants to be identified with a man-eating group. Although the activities of boko haram have brought about spirited rejection of the sect by members of the muslim community in Nigeria now looking for avenue to become relevant and also maintain its population in the country, very little can be achieved. Instead people are afraid and/or ashamed to be called muslims. For now only those who have bad intentions against certain people, idea or infrastructure now join the movement so as to have an avenue to fight what they consider enemy. I think that is good to curb the spread of the religion in the country. It is only in such areas as northeast Nigeria where boko haram uses force to convert people that the religion can boast new "converts" in the country, and I think it should be the same everywhere else where the ugly face of islamist terrorism is portraying the religion in bad light instead of good.

by: jocelyn sophia poesnecker from: philadelphia, USA
August 01, 2014 4:57 AM
i am a muslim in America. i embraced islam way back in 1983 and studied GOD'S Words in the Holy Qur'an. GOD Emphasizes how important lives are and NEVER did GOD Tell anyone to commit suicide. All suicide bombing is NOT ALLOWED and is SINFUL!

GOD Told us to enjoy this beautiful life that HE Granted us, doing good, wholesome things such as: helping others, getting married, having children and being good to the children, singing good songs, visiting friends, giving nice gifts, studying about natural medicines from the lovely plants that GOD Created and Provided, making nice things from what GOD Created and many other nice activities. Muslims are taught to not ask GOD to Make them die, but rather to ask GOD to Grant them a long life so that we can do more good deeds only. Then we know that eventually we will die, and it matters what we did while alive. After death, GOD Will resurrect us and then there will be a Day of Judgment. Those who lived a good life, loving and obeying GOD will be so happy! DO NOT COMMIT SUICIDE! GOD never condoned suicide. GOD Blessed us. jocelyn poesnecker
In Response

by: jocelyn sophia poesnecker from: philadelphia, USA
August 01, 2014 5:30 PM
to the one called Godwin in Nigeria~ i greet you peacefully. i am totally against the kidnapping of the girls from the school in your country, as are many, many other muslims all around the world. i see the group called boko haram being very similar to the group called isis and the group called the taliban and the group called ash-shabaab in somalia.
They are not following what GOD Said in the Holy Qur'an. people nowadays need a lot of education about what GOD Said in the Holy Qur'an, so this is what i and many others here in my area are trying to do: educate, in a kind, peaceful way.
i don't know if it was those girls who did the suicide bombing, however i have seen people who were held captive get brainwashed fast and it is criminal on the part of the brainwashers.
no one should do suicide, nor suicide bombing. during the time of messenger muhammad no report of suicide fighting was ever reported.
the muslims at that time were threatened by the people of makkah, who did not accept the Holy Qur'an, with extinction. Hence GOD Told the the believers to fight back at the battle of Badr, and then after some time, a short time, a lot of the people of Makkah did embrace islam and GOD Knows their hearts.
those disbelieving people of makkah were enslaving people, torturing their slaves, sexually assaulting their slaves and were doing things that the terrorist groups now, that call themselves muslim, are doing, some of the things, from the reports that i heard.
early during the messengership of muhammad GOD Revealed that people should free their slaves. it is important when reading the Holy Qur'an to know when a certain verse was revealed and for who. GOD Blessed us. jocelyn
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 01, 2014 1:36 PM
There is nothing to chat with anybody about, jocelyn sophia poesnecker from: philadelphia, USA. All you need do is hide your face as those of your religion in Nigeria are in search of relevance right now. How can you say your religion forbids one thing, yet everywhere all the so-called anchors of the faith in Africa, Asia, Middle East and everywhere else, continue to pay enormous amounts of money to sponsor terrorism, prohibit other religions and enslave people who do not practice islam in these countries? Maybe you need to educate us what anti-blasphemy law represents in islam, and why all the troubles in the world have their link with the religion. No Joice, I think the picture of your religion in Nigeria is not good enough to be painted the color you're trying to give it. Please tell your faith members that they should return the girls they kidnapped, or do you not feel for them?
In Response

by: jocelyn sophia poesnecker from: philadelphia, USA
August 01, 2014 10:39 AM
to michael from nigeria- sadly michael, the government of saudi arabic, by their own word, is "wahhabi". they do not have the correct creed that GOD Told us in the Holy Qur'an. if individuals in the government do not know the wrong things in the wahhabi creed, or don't follow the wahhabi creed, great. however the founder of "saudi" arabia was aligned with the followers of Muhammad ibn ^Abdul-Wahhaab and stated that this is his creed according to reports. hence, people who want the right belief about GOD and the Holy Qur'an do not want to follow the wahhabbi creed, and if the saudi government wants them to follow it, it is a BIG PROBLEM. michael, i would love to chat with you more.
In Response

by: michael from: nigeria
August 01, 2014 10:12 AM
If quoran emphasise on that why do saudi support terrorism. Why do they not permit any other religion why do they percecute those that convert from islam

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