Yola, Nigeria (TFC) – Two bomb blasts rocked the cities of Yola and Kano in the African nation of Nigeria Tuesday. Said to be the work of terrorist group Boko Haram, the blasts left 32 dead and 80 injured, according to latest reports.
In Yola, the blast came shortly after evening prayers let out at the local mosque, and was centered on an open-air market and restaurant. Some 400 miles away in Kano, the attacks came at a cellular phone market at about 4pm local time.
Reports indicate two young girls, said to be 11 and 18 years of age, were involved in conducting the attacks. Witnesses report seeing a minivan filled with girls of about the same age drop the girls off at the scene of the crowded market explosion.
Though as of this report no group has formerly taken responsibility for the attacks, it seems likely that the terrorist group Boko Haram, which operates primarily in Nigeria, is responsible. Boko Haram is a Salafist group dedicated to the formation of a Wahhabi-style Islamic government in Nigeria, and opposes the Nigerian Christian community (which makes up some 40% of Nigeria’s population), the Westernization of Nigerian culture and society, and all non-Sunni Muslims in the country, who have been the focus of most of the groups’ civilian attacks. In the past six years of unrest, Boko Haram has also been in open conflict with the Nigerian military, and up to 20,000 people have been killed in the ensuing violence. Boko Haram has also been known to kidnap young girls, sometimes for ransoming purposes and sometimes to be used as child soldiers in attacks such as these.
The attacks follow the deadly attacks on two mosques on 23 October, which killed 42 people and wounded over a hundred. This year Nigeria has seen an escalation of 300% in deaths caused by civilian terror assaults, prompting the Global Terrorism Index to name the IS-affiliated Boko Haram the “world’s most deadly terror group.”