Two separate bombing attacks in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno have claimed 38 lives while Boko Haram leader has vowed to disrupt the country’s upcoming elections.
The first attack was carried out on Tuesday at about 1:00 pm local time (1200 GMT) at a checkpoint in Yamarkumi village, near the town of Biu, killing 36 people and injuring 20 others.
“Most of the victims were child vendors and beggars that usually crowd the checkpoint,” a source at the Biu General Hospital said on condition of anonymity.
Boko Haram has repeatedly assaulted Biu trying to seize the town, but its attacks have been repelled by troops and local vigilantes.
In another attack some four hours later in neighboring Yobe state’s Potiskum, a bomber targeted in a popular chain restaurant, killing the manager and a steward and seriously injuring 13 staff and customers.
In a video on released on Twitter hours after the attacks, Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau threatened the upcoming elections. “This election will not be held even if we are dead.”
The Takfiri terrorists have already forced a delay in the polls, initially set for February 14. Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission shifted the elections to March 28 while the country’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, announced last week that there would be no further postponement of the upcoming votes.
Shekau also repeated threats against Chadian President Idriss Deby and Niger’s leaders, vowing that his militants would outlast an 8,700-strong multi-national force
Boko Haram’s threat against Chad and Niger comes as the two countries together with Benin and Cameroon, Nigeria’s other neighbors, pledged to create the 8,700-strong force to fight the militancy that has been spilling over beyond the country’s borders.
The terrorist group had also issued a statement on Monday threatening Niger and Chad with bomb attacks.
The worsening militancy has killed at least 13,000 people and rendered more than a million others homeless since 2009, according to AFP.