At least 27 dead in Nigerian mosque blast


Explosions in and around a mosque in north-east Nigeria killed at least 27 people, a hospital official said, in the latest attack by militants in the region.

The blasts in Mubi bore the hallmarks of Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has waged an insurgency in Africa’s most populous country since 2009 and often deploys suicide bombers in crowded places.

The jihadist group last week carried out an attack in Maiduguri that killed four people.

More than 30,000 people have been killed in the insurgency, which has forced some two million to flee.

Abdullahi Yerima, police commissioner in Adamawa state, said a suicide bomber struck at the mosque and a second bomber detonated a device as worshippers fled.

Ezra Sakawa, chief medical director of Mubi general hospital, said 27 people died and 56 were injured.

Earlier police said 24 people were killed and more than a dozen injured.

Boko Haram held territory in Adamawa state in 2014 but troops pushed the insurgents out early in 2015 and Mubi was relatively peaceful until a suicide bomb attack in November 2017 that killed 50 people.

Insecurity has become a politically charged subject in the run-up to a national election next year. President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office in 2015 with a promise to end Boko Haram’s push to create an Islamic state in the northeast, wants another term.

The bombings on Tuesday are the latest in a string of attacks in the north-east.

Mubi is around 200km from Maiduguri where last week’s attack was the second in a month. At least 15 people were killed and 83 injured when militants descended on the city in early April.

Government said since December 2015 Boko Haram has been defeated. Insurgents carried out a number of attacks in the last few months, including the kidnap of 111 schoolgirls from Dapchi and a strike in Rann that killed three aid workers.

Nigeria’s government in March said it was in talks with Boko Haram, which split into two main factions in 2016, with the aim of securing a permanent ceasefire. It did not disclose details of the faction with which it had held discussions.

A map produced by the US development agency in February seen by Reuters shows Islamic State in West Africa, which split from Nigeria’s Boko Haram, controls a swathe of territory in Borno and Yobe, next to Adamawa.