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Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Nigerian Suicide Blast


Shi'ite Muslims march during the 40th anniversary of the Ashura religious ceremony in the village of Dakasoye, northern Nigeria, following a suicide bombing attack that killed at least 21 people near Kano, Nov, 27, 2015.

The Islamic State-linked militant group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in northern Nigeria that killed at least 22 people marching Friday in a procession of Shi'ite pilgrims.

The blast near the village of Dakozoye, south of Kano, came just days after two female bombers blew themselves up at a local mobile telephone market in Kano, killing at least 14 people and wounding more than 100 others in the city of 2.1 million residents.

A statement posted Saturday on Twitter referred to the Friday blast as a "martyrdom-seeking operation." It also vowed more violence would come as the extremist group presses its six-year campaign for an independent Islamic state, or caliphate, in northeastern Nigeria and nearby northern Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

The independent Institute for Economics and Peace, in its most recent report on global terrorism, said Boko Haram became the deadliest terrorist group in the world during 2014. In its annual report, issued this month, it attributed more than 6,600 deaths to the group, an increase of 317 percent from 2013.

Extremist attacks in the region have become routine in recent months, despite promises by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to crush the homegrown militant group.

Rights groups say Boko Haram has killed more than 10,000 Nigerians since 2009 as part of its campaign to impose Islamic rule in the region.