(Voice of the Persecuted) On Sunday, at least one person was killed and others wounded in a double suicide attack carried out by two girls ( 7-8 years old) in the main market of Maiduguri, the capital of the Nigerian state of Borno. The two blasts occurred in quick succession at about 8:48 a.m Before the first explosion, an eyewitness said the girls walked right in front of him “without showing the slightest sign of emotion”.
Borno’s Governor, Kashim Shettima visited the scene and met with those injured at the Maiduguri Specialist Hospital. At that time, three were undergoing emergency surgery. Shettima called for an emergency security meeting for the management of crowded public places and other areas prone to attacks.
The jihadists group Boko Haram is suspected to be behind Sunday’s attack. Borno State has been the epicenter of Boko Haram’s terror insurgency for the past 7 years. They’ve repeatedly used women and young girls to carry out their death missions as suicide bombers. Many fear the girls may be those abducted by the group. Other girls have been handed over by their own fathers (militant members) and forced to be used for the group’s main goal, an Islamic Caliphate in Nigeria. It’s heartbreaking and disturbing to imagine what these children endure.
Voice of the Persecuted is very concerned for the continued attacks in North Nigeria and the many who’ve been displaced. Only two days ago, 45 were killed when a twin suicide bombing rocked the town of Madagali, on the border of Borno State. The risk of ongoing attacks make it impossible to return and rebuild their villages near strongholds where violence continues. There are also concerns for those who were released in exchange for the Chibok schoolgirls. Many fear they will revive the insurgency.
Fr. Gideon Obasogie, Director of Social Communications of the Diocese of Maiduguri said,
“There are fears that this attack might mark the beginning of a series of Boko Haram attacks during the Christmas period. Attacks of this kind seem to be a reprisal of Boko Haram for the reconquest by the Nigerian army of areas of northern Nigeria that were under the control of the Islamist sect. It is also a way to encourage their members not to give in, showing that they are still able to hit in a big city like ours.
The people of Maiduguri have become much more cautious and try to avoid the main market, making purchases in smaller shops, just to avoid an area which is usually very crowded and an easy target of the attacks. In general we try to avoid crowded areas because there are fears that Boko Haram has adopted the strategy of indiscriminate attacks against civilians to prove they are still alive and well, despite the blows suffered.”
Please keep our Nigerian brothers and sisters at the forefront of your prayers. Please continue to pray for there protection, emotional distress and peace that will allow them to go home.
Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in Nigeria to care for our Christian brothers and sisters experiencing brutal persecution.
We are committed to being a VOICE for persecuted Nigerian Christians and bring them comfort, relief, and encouragement. We have committed to a long-term mission in Nigeria. When they are able to return home, we will be there to encourage and help rebuild villages and their lives. They will not be forgotten!
We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on them. They have been so encouraged and thank God for each one of you who have joined this mission through prayer and your support.
Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
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