The terrorist group Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks in Nigeria and Cameroon, killing hundreds of people in a string of suicide bombings.
On July 26, a young girl estimated to be 10 years old detonated a bomb killing 19 people and injuring dozens more in northeastern Nigeria. The bombing was carried out in a crowded market area in the Nigerian city of Damaturu in Yobe state. The suspect set off the device as security personnel were screening people entering the market area.
No group has claimed responsibility, but Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the bombing.
Another bombing took place in Cameroon's Maroua town killing several others on the same day.
On July 22, additional Boko Haram suicide attacks were launched on the central market and Barmare residential neighborhood of Maroua, and multiple bombs were detonated at two bus stations in the northern Nigerian city of Gombe.
The United States strongly condemns all these horrific and indiscriminate Boko Haram attacks. Its unconscionable use of children as suicide bombers highlights the group's senseless brutality. "We remain committed to working closely with Cameroon, Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin countries to defeat Boko Haram," said State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner.
The U.S. commends the security forces of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria for their response to these and other recent attacks on innocent civilians.
We continue to support the governments and people of the Lake Chad Basin region in their ongoing struggle to defeat Boko Haram. The U.S. supports these efforts through security and counterterrorism assistance programs, which provide intelligence, advisors, training, equipment and logistics.
The U.S. looks forward to expanding this support through the Multinational Joint Task Force, which the Lake Chad Basin countries and Benin are standing up to counter Boko Haram.