Female suicide bomber in Nigeria kills six

It comes as a 10-year-old girl with explosives strapped to her body was arrested in northern Katsina, the neighbouring state.

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KANO, NIGERIA // A female suicide bomber blew herself up in a college in the northern Nigeria city of Kano on Wednesday, killing six people and critically wounding another six.

It was the fourth such attack by a woman in Kano in less than a week, and comes as a 10-year-old girl with explosives strapped to her body was arrested in northern Katsina, the neighbouring state.

“Security forces on Tuesday ... arrested three suspects believed to be members of Boko Haram” including a “10-year-old” girl, said government spokesman Mike Omeri.

The “10-year-old ... was discovered to have been strapped with an explosive belt”, he said.

Bomb attacks have killed at least 36 people this week.

The female bomber in the college had targeted students who were looking at a notice board for national youth service in Kano Polytechnic.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although militant group Boko Haram has repeatedly bombed Kano as its attacks spread outwards from its northeast heartlands.

The group’s uprising is aimed at creating a strict Islamic state in the mainly Muslim country.

But the city saw a clear decline in violence earlier this year, as the Islamists appeared to be concentrating on their stronghold in the remote northeast.

Since April however, they have been carrying out waves of strikes in major cities across the north and centre of the country, underscoring the grave threat they pose to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and top oil producer.

Using female suicide bombers in the city appears to be a new tactic of Boko Haram, although they have used them on occasion for years in the northeast.

Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a trade show and a petrol station in Kano on Monday, killing one other person and injuring at least six others.

On Sunday, a female suicide bomber killed herself while trying to target police officers. No one was hurt.

In a separate incident on Tuesday, two suicide bombers killed 13 people in attacks on two mosques in the town of Potiskum, in Yobe state in the northeast, a medical official there said.

Though much of the violence is concentrated in the remote northeast, they have struck across Nigeria in several bomb attacks since April.

Earlier this week, they mounted a cross-border attack into Cameroon, killing at least three people there and kidnapping the wife of the vice prime minister.

* Reuters and Agence France-Presse