Yesterday, September 18th 2017, two female suicide bombers attacked an aid distribution point in Mashalari village, north-eastern Nigeria. The bombers detonated as villagers gathered to receive donations, leaving 15 dead and 43 injured.
Minutes later another female suicide bomber detonated but killed only herself.
It was reported that the majority of those killed were women and that the death toll was likely to rise.
Though there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, it bears all the hallmarks of Boko Haram, who have carried out many similar bombings in the region in the past.
Boko Haram’s violence has caused widespread devastation throughout the region, leaving 20,000 dead and displacing more than 2.6 million since 2009. The harm has left the region in the grip of a humanitarian crisis.
Whilst the amount of IED attacks perpetrated in Nigeria significantly reduced last year, alongside national efforts to destroy Boko Haram, the group still maintains a presence and the ability to carry out such attacks.
Last year, Nigeria saw 461 civilian deaths and injuries from IED attacks; an 82% decrease from the previous year. 93% of civilian casualties were caused by suicide attacks.
When IEDs were used in a populated areas, 94% of those dead and injured were civilians.
In the first half on 2017, Nigeria saw 77 civilian casualties from IEDs.
AOAV calls on all states to urgently address the threat of IED attacks. There is an urgent need for preventative measures to be implemented by States and the international community.
For more on counter-IED initiatives, please see here.
To read AOAV’s latest report, Understanding the regional and transnational networks that facilitate IED use, please read here.
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