A Boko bomb exploded in a crowded Nigerian market on January 10, killing about twenty people. Once the blast cleared, police found that the suicide bomber was a ten-year-old girl who may not have known what was strapped to her body. From the New York Times:
The terrorist group has increasingly employed women as suicide bombers, even as it has stepped up its abductions of girls across northeast Nigeria, including the kidnapping of more than 200 in the town of Chibok last April. Late last year, two women hit the Monday Market [in Maiduguri] in suicide attacks, killing dozens, and in one week last summer four women carried out bombings in northern Nigeria’s biggest city, Kano.But the use of a child to kill — witnesses, police officials, a top hospital official in Maiduguri and local vigilantes all agreed that the bomber was very young — may be unprecedented in the insurgency.
Even this attack is dwarfed by Boko Haram’s multi-day sack of Baga last week, which leveled the city and left an estimated 2,000 civilians dead. The past two weeks have also seen attacks in the Nigerian cities of Gombo, Kautikari, and Gombe; a kidnapping in Malari; and a double attack in Potiskum. News of recent attacks can sometimes take many days to reach media outlets.Catholic Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, in central Nigeria, condemned these most recent attacks in a BBC radio interview. He voiced hope that the solidarity between European and African leaders following the attack in Paris could bring more attention to Nigeria’s plight:
We need that spirit to be spread around, not just when it happens in Europe, but when it happens in Nigeria, in Niger, Cameroon, in any other country; that we mobilize our international resources and face or confront the people who bring such sadness to many families.
It’s worth noting that the terror victims from the Baga massacre alone outnumber those killed in Paris by a factor of one hundred to one. And the most recent attack, perpetrated by a ten-year-old girl, shows a new level of Boko savagery in what ranks among the ugliest conflicts in the world today.