The United States condemns terrorist attacks on Tuesday, November 17 and Wednesday, November 18 that reportedly killed more than 40 innocent people in Nigeria. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressed her condolences to the families of the victims, noting that “joint efforts to counter Boko Haram continue.”
Fifteen people were reportedly killed and several dozens injured in the northern city of Kano, when two girls, said to be aged 11 and 18, detonated bombs, killing themselves and bystanders in a busy mobile phone market. News reports note that the use of conscripted young women and children is a hallmark of the terrorist group Boko Haram.
“The apparent use of children – particularly young girls – to commit these attacks is especially heinous,” said U.S. Department of State Spokesman John Kirby in a statement in October. “It provides yet more examples of the horrific measures Boko Haram is willing to take to terrorize civilians in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region.”
These attacks followed an explosion the day before at a market in Yola that reportedly killed at least 32 and wounded 80. Boko Haram is believed to be behind both attacks.
The group was named the world’s deadliest extremist group in the Global Terrorism Index, a list recently published by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Boko Haram also pledged allegiance to the Islamic State or Daesh, in March.
The last suspected Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria were on October 23rd, when reportedly more than 30 people were killed in bombings in Yola and in Maiduguri.
U.S. President Barack Obama ordered deployment last month of 300 U.S. military personnel to Nigeria’s neighboring state Cameroon to provide training and intelligence support to African troops fighting the terrorists. The United States supports our African partners in fighting Boko Haram by providing advisors, intelligence, training, logistical support and equipment.
“The United States,” wrote Kirby, “Will continue to support the governments and people of the Lake Chad Basin region in their ongoing struggle to defeat Boko Haram.”