The Weaponized Girls of Boko Haram
As Boko Haram’s successes in northeastern Nigeria have been rolled back, the extremist group’s attentions have turned elsewhere in the region, including neighboring Cameroon. Rare in other global terrorist activity, female suicide bombers between 14 and 24 years of age have formed the lion’s share of suicide attacks in Cameroon, comprising some 80% of incidents. Female suicide bombers have also been deployed in Nigeria, most recently in Maiduguri. Reuters investigates the pipeline from abduction to sexual slavery to suicide attacks that women captured by Boko Haram have found themselves caught up in.
“Weakened Boko Haram sends girl bombers against Cameroon civilians” (Reuters)
“Video: The war against Boko Haram’s suicide bombers in Cameroon” (France24)
“Nigeria mosque hit by Maiduguri suicide bombers” (BBC)
(Image Credit: Joe Penney/Reuters)
Pakistani Taliban kills scores in Easter suicide attack in Lahore targeting Christians
- At least 69 have been killed and 300 injured by a suicide attack at a park in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city and a cultural center of the country.
- Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility and confirmed that Christians had been the target of the attack.
- The park was packed with families for the Easter holiday, with many of the victims women and children.
“Suicide blast kills at least 69 in Lahore park” (The Express Tribune)
“Explosion at Park in Lahore, Pakistan, Kills Dozens” (The New York Times)
“Taliban faction says carried out suicide bomb attack on Pakistan park, says Christians were target” (Reuters)
(Image Credit: AFP, via The Express Tribune)
Brussels bombings claims victims from some 40 countries
- The IS-connected airport and subway bombings in the Belgian capital has left 31 dead and 316 injured to date.
- Victims have been identified from countries including China, France, India, the Netherlands, Peru, the U.K., and the U.S.
- Identification has proven difficult given the attack of heavily international bloodlines in the city, as both the open nature of the attacked spaces and the international effort required to obtain material needed for identification slow efforts.
“Brussels bombings claim casualties from over 40 countries” (Reuters)
“Here Are The Victims Of The Brussels Attacks” (BuzzFeed News)
“Brussels attacks victims may not be identified for weeks” (The Guardian)
(Image Credit: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty, via The Guardian)
Al-Qaeda–linked militants kill more than two dozen in attack on Burkina Faso capital
- At least 28 were killed when Islamist extremists launched an attack at the Cappuccino cafe and the Splendid Hotel, popular with UN staff and foreign visitors in the capital city of Ouagadougou.
- At least 18 nationalities were identified among the victims, including Burkinabe, Canadian, French, Swiss, Dutch, and American citizens.
- Of the 176 hostages freed by security forces, at least 56 were injured in the violence.
“Burkina Faso attack: Foreigners killed at luxury hotel” (BBC)
“Burkina Faso hotel attack: 18 nationalities among dead” (The Guardian)
“Six Canadians killed in Burkina Faso attack, PM Trudeau says” (Reuters)
(Image Credit: AP, via BBC)
Shiite mosque bombed in southwest Pakistan, reportedly killing at least 10 and injuring at least a dozen
- Six children were among the dead after a suicide bomber disguised as a woman in full burqa attacked a mosque in Bolan district of Balochistan province.
- Though none have yet claimed responsibility, authorities suspect the attack to be the work of Sunni extremists against the country’s Shiite minority.
- The bombing took place as Shiites prepare to celebrate Ashoura, a 10-day period commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
“Suicide blast outside imambargah in Bolan district kills five” (Dawn)
“Bombing at Shiite Mosque Kills 10 in Southwest Pakistan” (AP via ABC News)
“Bombing at Shia shrine kills 10 in Pakistan” (The Hindu)