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15 killed in suspected Boko Haram attack in Nigeria’s Borno

The injured victims of a bombing attack lie on the floor awaiting medical attention as beds were no longer available at a Maiduguri hospital in northeastern Nigeria on August 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

At least 15 people have been killed in a bombing attack, bearing the hallmark of the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group, in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno.

The Monday attack targeted an aid distribution point in Konduga area, about 40 kilometers from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

“(It) killed 15 people and left 43 others injured,” said a rescue worker on condition of anonymity, adding that the attack took place at 11:10 a.m. local time (1010 GMT) in the village of Mashalari.

“It happened during aid distribution by an NGO, when people had gathered to receive donations,” he said.

The rescue worker did not say which NGO was affected in the attack, but noted that two women detonated their explosives among the crowd.

Militia commanders helping Nigeria’s counter-insurgency operation confirmed the rescue worker's account.

“We have dispatched out a team to the scene,” said Babakura Kolo, from the Civilian Joint Task Force.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack but Boko Haram, the main militant group operating in Nigeria’s northeast and neighboring countries, has carried out similar bombings in the region in the past.

The group claimed an attack on August 16 in Konduga, during which three female attackers blew up their explosives outside a camp for displaced persons. It killed at least 28 people and left more than 80 others injured.

In December 2016, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced that Boko Haram had been technically defeated and that the group could no longer pose a threat to major urban centers in northern Nigeria. Nigeria’s claim of a total victory against Boko Haram comes as the group continues to launch sporadic attacks, particularly in hard-to-reach rural areas of Borno.

Seven people were killed this month after Boko Haram targeted a camp for the internally displaced near the border with Cameroon with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Some 20,000 people have been killed in more than eight years of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and neighboring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger while brutal attacks by the group have pushed more than 2.6 million people out of their homes.

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