At least 18 people have been killed in multiple suicide bombings in Nigeria.

At least 18 people were killed and dozens injured in a series of suicide bombings in northeast Nigeria on Saturday afternoon, all of them women. Funeral according to local authorities.

Borno State Emergency Management Agency Director-General Barkendo Saidu said three female assailants attacked separate locations in Gwoza, a bustling town in Borno state that has been at the center of the Boko Haram insurgency for the past 15 years. Is. .

Mr. Saidu said that the victims included children and pregnant women. Some Nigerian news agencies reported that at least 30 people had been killed.

As of Sunday afternoon, no group had claimed responsibility for the bombings. The blasts resemble attacks by Boko Haram, whose militants have killed tens of thousands in Nigeria and displaced more than two million people in the region's aggression.

The number of suicide bombings has declined in recent years, but Saturday's multiple blasts are a reminder that terrorism remains a clear threat in northeastern Nigeria.

Mr. Seidu said in an initial report seen by The New York Times that the attacker detonated a bomb earlier on Saturday that he was wearing to a wedding. According to Kenneth Daso, a public relations officer with the police in Borno, seven people were killed in the blast, including the attacker and a child with him.

Two other attackers later struck near a hospital and at the funeral of one of the victims of the first blast, Mr. Seidu said. Officials did not say how many devices were detonated, how many people were killed in the two other bombings or whether the suicide bombers were killed in those attacks. But Mr Seidu said at least 18 people had been killed in the attacks “so far”.

Three people died at the wedding, including a high school teacher, a businessman and a bicycle seller, said her and the groom's friend, Baba Shiho Seidu, who said he had attended the wedding. Intended to attend but had to. Cancel at the last minute. The bride and groom narrowly escaped the attack. It was not immediately clear if they were injured.

“The victims were kind, smart people who had white-collar jobs and were giving back to their communities,” said Mr Seidu, 30, a mathematics lecturer at Borno State University in Maiduguri city. Emergency Services Director of the same name.

Police and emergency services gave conflicting reports on Sunday. Mr Daso of the Borno police said there were only two explosions. But in a telephone interview, Mr. Seidu from the emergency services said he and his team had witnessed three, including one near a hospital where a young woman detonated a device. Fatima Musa, a civil servant of the Gwaza Local Government Council, also said that there were three bomb blasts in Gwaza.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu called the attacks “desperate acts of terrorism” and “an isolated incident”.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, has been battling multiple security crises for years, including mass kidnappings of people of all ages and walks of life.

Boko Haram insurgents have kidnapped thousands of teenage girls and forced them into marriage. They have also led many to carry out suicide attacks on schools, markets, religious buildings and large gatherings.

In 2014, Boko Haram fighters kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in Chibok village. The Chibok Girls, as they became known, gained global attention following Michelle Obama's condemnation and the activism of campaigners who popularized the slogan “Bring back our girls”.

A decade later, dozens are still missing.

Also in 2014, the then leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, declared a caliphate in Gwaza after his fighters captured the city. The Nigerian military regained control in 2015, and Mr. Shekau was killed in 2021.

At least 30 people injured in the blasts were rushed to a major hospital in Maiduguri, about 130 miles north of Gwaza, on Sunday, local civil servant Ms Musa told a Times reporter at the hospital.

One of them was the married Muhammad Ali, who was lying in a hospital bed screaming in pain. He said he was sharing photos with a friend at a wedding reception when a woman approached saying she was hungry. Then Mr. Ali heard a loud voice. Many of his friends were killed instantly, he cried.

He was scheduled to undergo surgery on his injured shoulder later on Sunday.

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