A suicide bomber killed 14 people in northeast Nigeria, the state emergency agency said on Saturday, in an attack that bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, days after a resurgence in the group’s activities prompted a shift in military tactics.
A suicide bomber detonated the explosives in Dikwa on Friday night, after entering a building housing people who had previously fled an insurgency by Boko Haram and since returned, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) said.
“We have so far evacuated 38 victims comprising 14 dead and 24 injured”, said SEMA spokesman Bello Dambatta. Dikwa is around 90 kilometres east of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.
Volunteers said at least two dozen others were wounded and had to wait until Saturday morning to be evacuated because of safety concerns and the lack of phone service.
The attack brings the number of people killed by fighters in northeast Nigeria since June 1 to at least 113 and came days after suspected members of the group attacked and kidnapped an oil prospecting team, prompting a rescue bid that ended in the deaths of at least 37 people including members of the team and rescuers from the military and armed volunteers, officials say.
The group were part of a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation team on a mission to find commercial quantities of oil in the Lake Chad basin.
The unofficial death toll is much higher. An aid agency worker involved in the recovery of bodies after the attack in the Magumeri area of Borno state on Tuesday told AFP news agency that so far the death toll was 69.