Dozens and possibly hundreds of people are alive today because a young teenage girl, a would-be suicide bomber, had the courage to discard her bomber vest and run once she was free from the view of her captors. Unfortunately, her co-conspirators carried out their bombings in a deadly terrorist attack this week.
The teenage girl, along with two other young girls, were supposed to go into the Dikwa refugee camp in north-east Nigeria and then blow themselves up in order to kill as many people as possible.
The young girl, who tore off her bomber’s vest and ran, tried to convince the other two girls not to go through with the suicide mission. However, she was unsuccessful at persuading them to change their minds. Instead, the two remaining young girls walked into the refugee camp, detonated their bomb vests, and ended up killing at least 58 people in the camp filled with hundreds of people.
Local self-defense forces found the terrified young teenager later. The girl recounted the terrible story, including how Boko Haram uses children to carry out their despicable agenda via suicide bombers. The girl’s recollection of events provided insight into the fact that children used in these plots are aware they are both killing people and will be killed themselves (below is an example of a 13-year-old girl armed as a suicide bomber for the Boko Haram).
“She said she was scared because she knew she would kill people. But she was also frightened of going against the instructions of the men who brought her to the camp,” said Modu Awami, a self-defense fighter who helped question the girl.
Algoni Lawan, a local government spokesperson has access to inside information about the young girl’s interrogation, said the young teenager was just one of thousands who were held captive by the extremists.
“She confessed to our security operatives that she was worried if she went ahead and carried out the attack that she might kill her own father, who she knew was in the camp,” Algoni told the AP on Thursday.
The young girl gave information to her interrogators, which led them to her discarded bomb vest, according to Awami to the AP.
According to the chairman of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Satomi Ahmed, the young girl is currently in custody and is cooperating with officials. She is also divulging information about more planned bombings, which is helping officials increase security at the camp.
Boko Haram has been an terrorist organization in the region since 2009, and since that time it has caused 20,000 deaths and over 2 million people to be forced from their homes.
These extremists are using all methods to cause destruction in the Nigerian area. They are known for kidnapping people, especially girls and children, so they can be used in suicide bombings. There have been bombs found that showed indications the bomb was set off remotely. This led officials to feel that the wearers of the bombs have no idea when it will be detonated.
Modu Awami said that they are still trying to figure out how many people were actually killed in the recent bombings. It has been a gruesome task due to body parts falling everywhere, even in cooking pots.
“Women, children, men and aged persons all died,” Awami added. “I cannot say the exact number as some cannot be counted because the bodies were all mangled.”
The people who where the target of these atrocious attacks had been driven from their homes by Boko Haram, and had spent over a year in Cameroon, located across the boarder.
Sadly, these people took a risk and came back to Nigeria because in January soldiers had declared the area safe. The double suicide bombings took place 30 miles from the Cameroon border, and 53 miles northeast of Maiduguri. Maiduguri is the largest city in the northeast, and the originating city of the Boko Haram.
According to a report by the AP, the United States strongly condemned the bombings. The U.S. remains committed to helping the people affected by this conflict and supports efforts to provide greater protection for both civilians and those fighting terrorism in the region, according to State Department spokesman, Mark Toner (shown below).