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At Least 19 Dead After Blast at Market in Northern Nigeria


Map of Nigeria showing Monguno, Baga, Damaturu and Gombe

A blast set off by a female suicide bomber tore through a crowded market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Damaturu on Sunday, killing 19 people and wounding 47, the National Emergency Management Agency said.

No one claimed responsibility for the explosion, but it was the latest attack in the last few weeks that bear the hallmarks of militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

Hundreds of people have been killed in bombings and shootings across northern Nigeria since Muhammadu Buhari, who has promised to crush the group, was inaugurated as president on May 29.

The attack took place six days after a suicide bomber killed three policemen at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the city. And earlier this month, at least nine people were killed in the city by a female suicide bomber as worshippers gathered to mark the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.

Boko Haram controlled a swath of land about the size of Belgium at the end of 2014, but it has been pushed out of most of that territory by Nigerian troops in the last few months, with military help from neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

Since then, the militants have carried out attacks in the north and neighboring countries.

At least 19 people were killed in a suicide bombing in the northern Cameroonian town of Maroua on Saturday.

Since becoming president, Buhari has made a number of changes aimed at tackling the insurgency, including the replacement of his defense chiefs. He moved Nigeria's defense command center to Maiduguri, the birthplace of the jihadi sect, and has worked with counterparts in neighboring countries to set up a multinational force with headquarters in Chad's capital, N'Djamena.