32 Killed, 119 Wounded in Suicide Bombing of Moderate Muslim Procession in Nigeria

People are treated at the General hospital in Potiskum, Nigeria, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, following a suicide bomb attack. (AP)
People are treated at the General hospital in Potiskum, Nigeria, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, following a suicide bomb attack. (AP)

A suicide bomber killed himself and 32 civilians Monday when he detonated explosives on the edge of a religious procession by the moderate Muslim Brotherhood in northeast Nigeria, a hospital official and witnesses said.

The official said 119 people were wounded. He quoted hospital records in Potiskum, capital of Yobe state, and spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to give information to reporters.

In a separate development, gunmen attacked a prison in central Kogi state and freed 145 inmates, prison chief Omale Adams told The Associated Press.

He said one inmate died in Sunday night’s attack and 12 escapees were recaptured by late Monday.

The prison break took place in a central part of the country that sporadically has been attacked by the Islamic extremist Boko Haram group, though authorities would not say that the insurgents were the prime suspects.

In Potiskum, Muslim Brotherhood members detained two suspects near the suicide bomber explosion and refused to hand them over to the military, said Mohammed Adamu, a tailor who was part of the parade.

As the crowd began beating the suspects with fists and wooden clubs, soldiers fired several shots into the air and one bullet killed a Muslim Brotherhood member, Adamu said.

One suspect turned out to be a policeman, and the crowd finally handed both over to the police. An AP reporter saw the two badly beaten men at the hospital, along with two dozen women and children injured in the blast.

It is the first attack in months in Potiskum by suspected members of Boko Haram, which follows the strict Wahabi school of Islam.

In July, extremists killed four Sunni Muslims in an attack on a mosque in Potiskum.

Boko Haram recently has been seizing towns and villages in neighboring Borno and Adamawa states, hoisting the black-and-white flag of al-Qaida and declaring an Islamic caliphate in a large area bordering Cameroon.

Nigeria’s military announced that Boko Haram had agreed to an immediate ceasefire on Oct. 17, and government officials said they expected more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls to be released quickly as a result.

But the fighting and abductions have continued unabated, and Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video released Friday that he had never agreed to a truce.

He dashed hopes for the speedy release of the girls, abducted from a boarding school in northeastern Chibok town in April, saying they had all converted to Islam and been married off.


Associated Press writer Hilary Uguru contributed to this report from Warri, Nigeria.

Associated Press

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