Tag: suicide bombers

Iraq shrine attack: IS kills dozens in Balad

Suicide bombers and gunmen have killed at least 35 people in an attack by so-called Islamic State (IS) at a Shia shrine in the Iraqi town of Balad.

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The site was attacked by suicide bombers, gunmen and mortar fire

At least one bomber blew himself up outside the mausoleum of Sayid Mohammed bin Ali al-Hadi, which was then stormed by gunmen, reports say.

Another bomber is said to have blown himself up among fleeing worshippers.

Meanwhile the death toll from Sunday’s suicide bombing in Baghdad has again been raised, from 281 to 292.

Amid growing public anger over the truck bombing, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi fired the three top security officials in Baghdad on Friday.

They were the head of Baghdad’s security command, the head of interior ministry intelligence for Baghdad and the official responsible for Baghdad in the national security adviser’s office.

IS said five of its members had carried out the raid on the site in Balad. The militant group follows an extreme form of Sunni Islam and often targets Shias, who it regards as apostates.

About 50 people were injured in the attack, police and medical sources said.

Islamic State: The full story

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The shrine is a site for Shia Muslim pilgrims

Worshippers were marking the Eid al-Fitr festival, celebrating the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when the site came under mortar fire.

The first bomber then struck a market at the entrance to the shrine.

A third bomber was shot dead before he was able to detonate his explosive vest, reports say.

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It came four days after IS carried out the deadliest bombing in Baghdad, 45 miles (70km) south of Balad, since the 2003 US-led invasion.

That attack target a shopping complex in the mainly Shia Muslim district of Karrada.

IS militants overran large parts of northern and western Iraq two years ago, but government forces have since regained much of the territory.

In response to the battlefield setbacks, including the recent loss of the western city of Falluja, the militants have stepped up their attacks on civilians.

The Iraqi government has been accused of not doing enough to protect its citizens and has stepped-up security in Baghdad in response to the latest violence.

Source: BBC News



‘How I almost became a Boko Haram suicide bomber’

By Anne Soy
BBC Africa, northern Nigeria

On Tuesday 9 February, two Nigerian girls entered a camp for displaced people in the country’s north-east. Minutes later they detonated their explosive vests, killing 58 people. A third girl refused to take part in the suicide mission for Islamist militant group Boko Haram. This is her story.
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Hauwa, not her real name, doesn’t know her age, but she looks 17 or 18.

She had been held by Boko Haram for more than a year when her captors suggested the plan to attack the Dikwa camp.

In return for carrying out their mission, the three girls were told they would go to paradise.

But Hauwa knew that she had to defy them.

‘Spiritual problems’

“I said ‘No’, since my mum is residing in Dikwa, I won’t go and kill people there. I would rather go and stay with my family, even if I die there,” she tells me through a translator.
Both her parents and her siblings, except for one brother who had been captured with her, were staying in the camp at Dikwa in Borno state, along with about 50,000 others forced from their homes.

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The Dikwa camp is home to tens of thousands of people

Hauwa explains how she ended up being lured into joining the group.

“I had spiritual problems and so the Boko Haram told me they could help get rid of them,” she says.

We do not know exactly what Hauwa was suffering from, but these so-called “evil spirits” had caused her to soil herself and even put her hand into a fire.

Whatever the reason, she saw Boko Haram as the answer to her problems, and they took her in.

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“They said since I refused to re-marry, I should take the bomb”

She remembers a typical day living with the militants.

“We were living in grass-thatched houses. When my husband was around, I cooked three times a day… the men would steal meat and bring it for us to cook.”

After a while, Hauwa separated from her husband and then got remarried.

Her second husband then ran away and when she refused to take a third husband, the group suggested their plan:
“They said since I refused to re-marry, I should take the bomb,” she says.

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Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden”, has often attacked schools

The Dikwa camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) was 85km (50 miles) north-east of Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno and the birthplace of Boko Haram.

Hauwa knew it well and it was not far from the place she was being held by the militants, so the night before the attack was due to take place, she sneaked out very early in the morning.

Her plan was to alert her family and others staying at Dikwa of the impending attack.
But she was too late.

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“People rushed to help her and tried to lift her up and that’s when the bomb detonated”

By the time she reached Dikwa camp, the two suicide bombers had already struck.

An army officer showed the BBC team the scene of the attack.

“This is the spot where the first explosion went off,” he said pointing to brown patches on the tarmac, where blood stains had been darkened by a layer of dust.

The camp stretches across both sides of the road and so residents still have to pass the scene of the attack every day to get water and food.

There are 15,000 people still living here and they are scared.
But they have nowhere safe to go, so they are staying here.
Now, they say they cannot trust anyone, not even children.

An elderly woman, Falmata Mohammed, remembers the minutes before the attack.

“A soldier was trying to arrange our queues… There was this woman wearing a red veil and she had long hair.

“Falmata says she looked round when the woman began complaining about the soldiers, who were trying to disperse the crowds.

“As soon as we moved onto the road, she shouted ‘Wayyo’, saying she had a pain in her stomach… People rushed to help her and tried to lift her up and that’s when the bomb detonated.”

“We saw fireballs around us,” she tells me, saying that suddenly she became aware that she was surrounded by dozens of mutilated bodies.

Hauwa did not see the attack herself, but she was shown footage of the aftermath by military investigators and reflect on the fate of the two girls.

“It wasn’t a pleasant thing to see. It wasn’t good to carry a bomb to go and kill fellow human beings,” she says.

“I don’t know if the other girls knew they would die when they went on the mission.”
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For parents in this part of Nigeria, the fear of Boko Haram is all too real.

The group is prepared not only to abduct their children, but to send their own young back as assassins in the very places they have sought refuge.

This is the same state where Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in April 2014. Most of them are still missing.

Hauwa chose to defy the group and to escape, saving her own and the many lives of her would-be victims.

We talk about her future, but when the topic of children comes up, she laughs it off.
“I’d like to get an education,” she says.

Source: BBC Africa



86 dead as Boko Haram burns kids alive

Jane Onyanga-Omara, USA TODAY

Members of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram burned children alive as part of an attack in Nigeria that killed at least 86 people, according to survivors and witnesses.

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Women and children sit among burnt houses after Boko Haram attacks at Dalori village on the outskirts of Maiduguri in northeastern Nigeria on Jan. 31, 2016.(Photo: STRINGER, AFP/Getty Images)

The incident happened Saturday night in the village of Dalori in northeastern Nigeria. Two nearby camps housing 25,000 people who have fled Boko Haram were also attacked.

A solider at the scene told the Associated Press that three female suicide bombers blew themselves up as part of the assault, but there was little information about the sequence of events that led to the deaths of the children and USA TODAY was not able to immediately verify the account.

Mohammed Kanar, the area coordinator of Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency, said 86 bodies, many of them charred and riddled with bullets, were collected by Sunday afternoon.

Abba Musa of the country’s State Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri, the largest city in the area, said 62 survivors were being treated for burns.

Survivor Alamin Bakura told the AP that several of his family members were killed or wounded in the the attack, which lasted for nearly four hours.

Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper reported that the attack came despite claims by the government that Boko Haram militants no longer had the ability to carry out such major attacks, other than through suicide bombings. Nigeria previously said that its military drove the extremists out of towns and villages in the region last year.

Soldiers who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press said that government troops arrived at Dalori but could not overpower the better-armed militants. They said the extremists only retreated after more troops arrived with heavier weapons.

Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State — also known as ISIS or ISIL — and killed about 20,000 people and driven 2.5 million Nigerians from their homes over a six-year period.

Source: USA Today



Kidnapped Chibok girls – News update

In this report, CBN News cameras travel to Nigeria, and speak with relatives and friends of the 219 girls from Chibok, who continue to be held captive by Boko Haram. A year ago next month, fighters kidnapped 276 girls, mostly Christian, from their school in Chibok. Fifty-seven escaped, but 219 are still being held. The girls’ abduction drew global protests and launched the Twitter hash tag campaign #BringBackOurGirls. But as time passes, there is a grave danger of the plight of the girls being forgotten. We at Friends In The West, along with CBN and many other groups and organisations around the world, want to encourage people to continue to pray for the release of these girls. 

Please visit our Home page on this site to read about how this Chibok incident inspired our founder to re-launch the prayer bracelet campaign.

 



Pakistan Church Attacks: Bombers kill 17

Published: March 16, 2015 by Asif Aqeel

At least 17 people were killed, and 80 others injured, as two churches in the main Christian district of Lahore, Pakistan, were attacked March 15. An Islamist group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, linked to the Pakistan Taliban, claimed responsibility.
At least two of the young attackers blew themselves up – one at each church – when volunteer security guards, working with local police, confronted them at the entrances to the churches.

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At St. John Church, the bomber was kept outside of the courtyard by a security volunteer who dragged the attacker off the wall. World Watch Monitor

The attacks were timed to cause maximum damage; more than 2,000 worshippers were present in the two churches for Sunday services. But prompt action by the Christian volunteers prevented the attackers from entering the buildings.

The incidents took place in Yahounabad, the poverty-stricken Christian neighbourhood in Lahore, outside two churches, St. John’s Catholic Church and the Protestant Christ Church, separated by just 400 metres.