A Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) pastor was among seven persons killed in two assumed Boko Haram suicide bombings in Maiduguri on 29 Oct.
No further details on the pastor were yet available, but BBC reports that a female suicide bomber blew herself up outside the Bakassi IDP camp, housing an estimated 16,000 people. It killed five men. Within 30 minutes, another bomber detonated explosives near a fuel depot.
A military spokesman said the second bomber was following a fuel tanker “with the sole aim of gaining entry to cause maximum damage and casualties.”
Twenty-four people wounded in the twin explosions were evacuated to nearby hospitals.
The seven-year insurgency in Nigeria’s Northeast has led to a humanitarian crisis with a huge influx of refugees into main urban towns like Maiduguri, capital of Borno State.
According to the UN’s International Organization for Migration (OIM), tat one state hosts 1.63 million internally displaced people (IDP). It is estimated that another 2.1 million displaced in Borno are still out of reach of humanitarian organisations.
Many IDP’s stay at informally erected ‘camps’ on the outskirts of cities within so-called safe zones the military constructs.
Aid workers who recently visited two Christian camps in Maiduguri reported: “Life has become hell for the more than 3000 people living here… Already people are resorting to eating leaves. Children are dying of hunger. If nothing is done for these people, this will lead to a huge tragedy. People cannot go home because Boko Haram is constantly regrouping and continuing attacks.”
It is reported that Maiduguri has seen a 400% increase in food prices.
The Saturday twin blast is the second incident in three weeks, raising fears of an upsurge of suicide attacks, which had been a regular occurrence in the city considered the birthplace of the Boko Haram insurgency.
On Oct 12 another suicide bombing killed eight people and injured 15, according to the Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).