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.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: MAKIYYU from: KANO
    August 06, 2014 8:31 AM
    GOVERMENT D'NOT NEED HELP BUT NOTHERN NIGERIA NEED!

    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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora