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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Nigeria suicide blasts kill 19 

Attack was blamed on Boko Haram militants

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau (centre) is seen surrounded by his fighters in this still from a video released by the group on October 31, 2014. Boko Haram,File / AP
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau (centre) is seen surrounded by his fighters in this still from a video released by the group on October 31, 2014. Boko Haram,File / AP

Three suicide bombers killed 19 people at a fish market in north-east Nigeria, militia leaders said on Saturday.

The attack was blamed on Boko Haram militants.

The explosions took place at about 8.30pm on Friday in Konduga, about 35 kilometres south-east of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.

Babakura Kolo and Musa Ari, from the Civilian Joint Task Force assisting Nigeria's military against Boko Haram, said the bombers were all men.

"We have 19 dead and about 70 others injured. Two of the bombers attacked the Tashan Kifi fish market. Then, four minutes later, a third bomber struck nearby," said Mr Kolo.

"The victims included 18 civilians and one soldier. The Tashan Kifi is an informal market which serves as an eatery, market and also hangout for residents."

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Mr Ari said 22 of the 70 injured were in a critical condition, adding: "There is no question as to who did it - Boko Haram has targeted Konduga several times."

There was no immediate comment from the military or the police in Borno state, which has borne the brunt of the violence in Boko Haram's nearly nine-year insurgency.

At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.6 million others made homeless since 2009.

Nigeria's military and government says the group is now a spent force. But suicide attacks and raids persist, with civilians in hard-to-reach rural areas and outlying towns at risk.

On January 31, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in the village of Mandarari, near Konduga.

The blasts happened shortly after another bomber killed four people and injured 44 at a displaced persons' camp in Dalori, 22 kilometres away on the same road to Maiduguri.

A fourth bomber also blew herself up outside the camp.

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