Kano - A vigilante and four female suicide bombers
were killed Wednesday at a checkpoint in Nigeria's
northeast Borno state after one of them detonated
her explosives, according to the National Emergency
Management Agency (NEMA).
One bomber blew herself up at a security checkpoint
50 kilometres east of state capital Maiduguri run by
civilian vigilantes who help the country's military
fight Boko Haram.
Four girls between the ages of nine and 12 were
stopped at the checkpoint in Mafa, according to
Muhammad Kanar, head of NEMA for the northeast.
"Most of them are abducted from villages and
brainwashed before being sent for suicide
missions," Kanar told AFP, speaking of the female
suicide bombers used by Boko Haram.
"Suicide bombers tried to enter and they were being
intercepted for interrogation," Ibrahim Abdulkadir,
another spokesman for the agency, told AFP.
"One detonated their bomb," he said, adding "all of
them were bombers, all women."
Army spokesman Sani Kukasheka Usman said the
three other bombers were shot dead by vigilantes.
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has
pledged to end the Boko Haram insurgency by the
end of the year, but with less than a month to go
before his deadline expires the country is still
suffering deadly suicide and bomb attacks.
Last month eight people were killed at the same
checkpoint when a female suicide bomber blew
herself up among women and children arriving in
Maiduguri seeking to escape Boko Haram violence in
Boko Haram have in recent months been using
young women and girls as suicide bombers -- a
ruthless new tactic in the six-year-old armed
insurgency which has claimed more than 17,000
lives in its bid for a hardline Islamic state in the
The jihadist group has used the tactic similarly in
Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Many of the girls used as ammunition in Nigeria are
unaware they will be blown up, Leila Zerrougui, the
UN secretary-general's special representative on
children and armed conflict, told reporters in
Geneva earlier this week.
Security forces fighting the jihadists said that often
the explosive devices are triggered with a remote
device, according to the UN expert.