UPDATE 1-Suicide bomber attacks market in northeast Nigeria’s Maiduguri

(Adds police statement, details)

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria Dec 26 (Reuters) – A suicide bomber
attacked a cattle market on Monday in Maiduguri in northeastern
Nigeria, the city worst hit in the seven-year insurgency waged
by Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The police said the female bomber, who struck the Kasuwan
Shanu market in the central district of Kasuwa, was the only
person killed in the blast at about 08:40 a.m. (0740 GMT).

In a statement, police said a second woman who had a bomb
was “lynched by an irate mob in the vicinity”. Security forces
later detonated her device.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack but it
bears the hallmarks of Boko Haram and comes days after President
Muhammadu Buhari said the jihadist group’s key camp in its last
remaining enclave had fallen.

Buhari said the fall of the camp in the group’s Sambisa
forest base after an offensive by Nigeria’s army in the former
colonial game reserve marked the “final crushing of Boko Haram”.

Despite having been pushed back to the forest by the army in
recent months, the group still stages bombings in the northeast
and in neighbouring Niger and Cameroon. A suspected Boko Haram
suicide bomber killed two people in Cameroon on Sunday.

The Islamist militant group has killed 15,000 people and
displaced more than two million during a seven-year insurgency
to create an Islamic state governed by a harsh interpretation of
sharia law in the northeast of Africa’s most populous nation.

(Reporting by Ardo Hazzard, Ahmed Kingimi, Lanre Ola and Alexis
Akwagyiram; writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; editing by David

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