A girl aged about 13 was killed when explosives strapped to her body went off near a major mosque in northern Nigeria’s largest city Kano, police said, adding that no one else was caught up in the blast. Kano police spokesman Musa Magaji Majia said on Monday that the explosion occurred at a roundabout, about 200 metres from the Umar bin Khattab mosque, where worshippers had gathered for prayers.
“She blew up killing herself. Nobody else was hurt in the incident,” he said of the blast, which happened at about 9:00 pm. Police bomb squad officers were deployed to the scene to ensure there were no other explosives left nearby, he added.
A police source added: “It’s very likely the mosque was her target, but the explosives went off prematurely.”
Boko Haram militants have increasingly used young girls and women as human bombs in their six-year insurgency to establish a hardline Islamic state in north-east Nigeria.
On Sunday night, rebel fighters fired shots and a rocket-propelled grenade at a mosque as part of a twin assault on the central city of Jos, which killed at least 44 people.
Earlier in the day, five people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a church in the north-eastern city of Potiskum. Indiscriminate targeting of civilians, both Muslim and Christian alike, has been a feature of the rebellion, which has so far claimed at least 15,000 lives and left more than 1.5 million others homeless.