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Teen Girl Refuses To Suicide Bomb Nigerian Camp

Russ Read

A suicide bombing at a displaced persons camp in Nigeria Tuesday was supposed to involve three coordinated attacks, but a teenage girl responsible for the third bomb vest refused to detonate herself just moments before the strike.

The girl’s two comrades, also female, did successfully detonate their payloads, killing as many as 65 and injuring another 78 people. The radical Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram is believed to be responsible for coordinating the attack, though that claim has yet to be confirmed. Boko Haram is known to use female suicide bombers frequently.

“She said she was scared because she knew she would kill people. But she was also frightened of going against the instructions of the men who brought her to the camp,” said Modu Awami, a local defense fighter who questioned the girl after she removed her vest.

“She confessed to our security operatives that she was worried if she went ahead and carried out the attack that she might kill her own father, who she knew was in the camp,” said Algoni Lawan, a spokesman for the local government. Local security forces were able to confirm the girl’s story after she led them to the vests.

The Dikwa internally displaced persons camp houses as many as 50,000 people who have fled Boko Haram’s campaigns against civilians in the past six years. It is believed the group has killed over 20,000 people and has displaced 2.5 million throughout the region.

According to local officials, the girl attempted to convince the other two women not to engage in the bombing, “but she said she could not convince the two others to change their minds.”

There has been speculation that Boko Haram has used some of its thousands of captives as suicide bombers. A bomb disposal expert told the Associated Press that many of the suicide bombers are detonated remotely, giving the carriers no choice as to their fate.

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