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Cameroon Town Hit Again by Suicide Bombing

Map of Cameroon
Map of Cameroon

Authorities in Cameroon say a suicide bombing in the northern town of Maroua killed at least 10 people Saturday, three days after twin bombings in the same town killed at least 20 others.

State television said a female bomber detonated explosives at a popular nightspot, triggering alarms across the city as rescue and military personnel launched a hunt for survivors. The Reuters news agency, quoting a senior military officer, said more than 60 others were wounded.

Two suicide bombings on Wednesday targeted a large market and a residential area in the town. Authorities said one of those bombers, a female, was disguised as a merchant while the other, a 9-year-old girl, appeared as a beggar.

No one has claimed responsibility for either set of bombings, but authorities said the blasts appeared to be the work of Nigerian militant group Boko Haram.

Cameroon's army has clashed with Boko Haram and is part of a multinational task force being set up to combat the group.

Governor Midjiyawa Bakari, speaking after Wednesday's bombings, said he had asked the military to step up patrols at markets, shops and other popular spots in Maroua.

He also said he had been ordered by Cameroon President Paul Biya to seal parts of Cameroon's nearby border with Nigeria to prevent cross-border infiltration by Boko Haram suicide bombers and fighters.

Earlier this month, Bakari banned local women from wearing burka veils, after suicide bombers used them to conceal explosives in the border town of Fotokol, a former stronghold of Boko Haram.

Residents and rights groups say Boko Haram, which seeks to build an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has kidnapped hundreds of girls and young women from the region.