Five female suicide bombers detonated their explosive devices in the northeastern village of Kofa, located 8 km (5 mi) from Maiduguri (capital of the Borno state), on Sunday, June 18. According a local police spokesperson, the attack occurred at approximately 20:30 (local time), killing 12 people and injuring 11 others. No group has claimed responsibility although Boko Haram is highly suspected.
Boko Haram has used a number of women and girls in suicide bombings in the past.
The northeastern region of Nigeria is highly susceptible to attacks by Boko Haram, which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) in March 2015 and formally adopted the name of Islamic State in West Africa. Al-Barnaoui, son of Mohammed Yusuf - the founder of Boko Haram - was nominated by IS in August 2016 to replace Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram since 2009. Since then, the two leaders have been leading dissident factions with divergent ambitions, Al-Barnaoui blaming Shekau for massacring civilians rather than focusing on military targets.
Public venues (markets, places of worship, schools, bars, areas where broadcasts of sports competitions are displayed, etc.) as well as security forces and governmental buildings are frequently struck by attacks, suicide bombings (targeted or untargeted), and kidnappings (regularly followed by assassination and targeting primarily foreign nationals).
The security environment in Nigeria is complex and particularly poor in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Some Western governments consequently advise against travel to certain areas of the northeast (e.g. states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Jigawa as well as parts of Kano and Adamawa states) and the southern Niger Delta region (e.g. states of Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers). Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to these areas.
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