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The New Arab

Scores killed in suicide attack on Nigerian refugee camp

The Boko Haram insurgency has left 17,000 Nigerians dead [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 February, 2016

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At least 58 people have been killed after two female Boko Haram suicide bombers attacked a refugee camp in northeast Nigeria, officials said Wednesday.

Two female suicide bombers killed at least 58 at a camp for internally displaced people made homeless by Boko Haram's insurgency in northeast Nigeria, officials said Wednesday.

The attack happened in Dikwa, some 90 kilometres (55 miles) from the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, on Tuesday morning.

The attack raises fears about the safety of internally displaced people (IDPs) and puts pressure on the government, which maintains it has the upper hand against the insurgents and is pushing for the return of civilians caught up in the violence.

Nigeria's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo described it as "regrettable that the heartless terrorists chose to unleash their wickedness on people who were taking refuge from previous acts of destruction in their homes".

He promised those behind the attack would be hunted down and ordered that "formidable security in and around the IDP camps in the country be beefed up and renewed measures put in place to guard against future occurrences".

The head of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Satomi Ahmed said: "From what we gathered three female suicide bombers disguised as IDPs arrived at IDP camp at about 6:30 am (0530 GMT)".

"Two of them detonated their explosives. The third one refused to set off hers when she realised her parents and siblings were in the camp. She surrendered herself to the authorities."

The camp houses some 53,600 people displaced from their homes by the ongoing Boko Haram violence.

Last week, the Nigerian military attacked three villages considered Boko Haram strongholds near Kalabalge, killing dozens of militant fighters and rescuing hundreds of women.

The women were largely from the Shuwa Arab tribe, who had been kidnapped, prompting the authorities to suspect the latest attack to be revenge for the military operation.

The Boko Haram insurgency has left at least 17,000 people dead and forced more than 2.6 million from their homes in nearly seven years of violence that has also spread to neighbouring countries.

At least six civilians were killed and more than 30 injured on Wednesday in a double suicide attack in the village of Nguetchewe, in northern Cameroon.

Agencies contributed to this report

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