The Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, which has pledged its allegiance to ISIS, is likely the culprit behind yesterday’s bomb blasts in the northern Nigerian city of Gombe. According to Red Cross officials, these bombings killed at least 48 people and injured 60 others. A female suicide bomber was responsible for one of the blasts while a suicide bomber carried out the second bombing. The second attack took place merely five minutes after the first strike. The attackers were killed in the blasts.
Although no one has officially claimed responsibility for the attacks, officials state that it is more likely than not that Boko Haram is the culprit. This is a reasonable conclusion given that Boko Haram has attacked Gombe and other northern Nigerian cities several times during the past decade, killing thousands.
The extremist group has recently amped up its violent activity in Nigeria with attacks coming more frequently. Earlier this week, Boko Haram terrorists barricaded a road that links the Nigerian city of Damaturu to neighboring towns and, in doing so, killed more than 20 motorists.
As Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer, and because the northeast region is predominantly Muslim, Boko Haram is trying to create and maintain a state adhering to strict Sharia law in the region. Sharia law is an extreme version of Islamic law.
The Nigerian military has been unsuccessful at preventing Boko Haram’s bombings and raids taking place in the country’s northeastern region. Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, who was inaugurated into office on May 29th, has placed crushing Boko Haram on the top of his to-do list. Yet, despite his attempts to step up Nigeria’s campaign against Boko Haram, hundreds of Nigerian citizens have been killed in bombings and attacks by the terrorist group since his inauguration. Earlier this week, Buhari replaced his defense chiefs in order to hopefully reach better results.