Eleven people are dead in north-east Nigeria following a suicide bombing believed to be carried out by Boko Haram, while reports of the abduction of 31 loggers in the same region by the militants are coming in.
Reuters reported that Wednesday’s suicide attack against a mosque, in the town of Gamboru in Borno state near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, took place during dawn prayers.
Following the attack, which reduced the mosque to rubble, bodies of the dead were lined up on the ground.
Nigeria has been battling an Islamic insurgency carried out by Boko Haram in the north-east of the country for eight years.
The group regularly uses suicide bombers, often women and girls, to attack mosques and markets, despite claims by Abuja that the organisation has been defeated.
Last week, four civilians were killed in an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants on Maiduguri, the Nigerian city at the centre of the conflict with the Islamists.
Fifty people were killed in an attack in November which also targeted a mosque.
Meanwhile, at least 31 loggers are believed to have been abducted by Boko Haram after they went missing in north-east Nigeria, security sources said Wednesday.
The alleged kidnapping took place just days after 30 troops vanished following a raid on a military base in the same region amid a surge in bloody violence.
According to security sources, the loggers, mostly in their twenties, had left the town of Gamboru on the border with Cameroon on Tuesday morning to fetch firewood in a Boko Haram hotspot.
“All 31 have not been seen since yesterday and it is obvious they were seized by Boko Haram,” said Umar Kachalla, a militia in Gamboru fighting Boko Haram alongside the military.
Ten loggers were shot dead two weeks ago by Boko Haram gunmen while collecting firewood in the bush outside Wulgo.
Nigeria’s war with the militants, which has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, has killed approximately 20 000 people and displaced more than 2.6 million.
– African News Agency (ANA)