Nigerian civil defense fighters gunned down three would-be female Boko Haram suicide bombers in a northeastern Nigerian market Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.
Fighters reportedly partner with the Nigerian army to patrol crowded market places, which are often targeted by Boko Haram. The incident is the latest in a string of foiled female suicide bombings in Nigeria. Nigerian market-goers also lynched a failed female suicide bomber after she tried to blow up a crowded cattle market in the northeastern part of the country on Dec. 26.
The lynched woman was reportedly part of a team of suicide bombers who planned to inflict mass casualties in the area. When the woman’s vest failed to detonate, the crowd descended on her until she died.
Boko Haram killed nearly 7,000 civilians throughout 2015, making it the deadliest terrorist group in the world. Boko Haram has a tenuous relationship with the Islamic State, and was beset by tactical setbacks throughout 2016.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari claimed in December that the terrorist group had been pushed out of its last stronghold in the Sambisa forest. The terrorists often used the Sambisa forest as a sanctuary, and is where they took the nearly 200 young girls they kidnapped in 2014 amid widespread international condemnation.
The group’s failed Monday terrorist attack highlights the enduring threat it poses to Nigerian security. “Boko Haram may have both logistical and operational bases both within and outside of Nigeria’s borders,” Ryan Cummings, director of Africa-focused risk management company Signal Risk, told Reuters.
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