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Three female suicide bombers blow up 10 in attack on Niger mosque

Three women wearing explosive belts tried to enter a mosque during Ramadan prayers and blew themselves up. All the victims were worshippers who had gathered after breaking their Ramadan fast.

world Updated: Jun 05, 2018 17:10 IST
Agence France-Presse, Niamey
female suicide bomber,attack on mosque,Niger
The suicide attacks occurred late on Monday in the regional capital of Diffa, a frequent target of the Boko Haram jihadist group.(Reuters/File Photo)

Ten people were killed in three successive suicide bombings in a mosque in southeastern Niger near the border with Nigeria, a local official said on Tuesday.

The attacks occurred late on Monday in the regional capital of Diffa, a frequent target of the Boko Haram jihadist group, the official, who asked not to be identified, told AFP.

An eye-witness said all three suicide bombers were women.

Elhadji Koura Boukar, a local councilor, said the women wearing explosive belts tried to enter a mosque during Ramadan prayers.

All the victims were worshippers who had gathered after breaking their Ramadan fast, an army spokesman said.

Security forces have cordoned off the sites and are carrying out search operations throughout the city, a security source said.

According to accounts on social media, three explosions were heard at around 10pm (2100 GMT) on Monday in Diffa Koura, an old district of the city.

The attacks came as Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou arrived in Paris for an official visit Monday. He is to continue to Brussels Tuesday.

They also follow several months of calm in the Diffa region which since February 2015 has suffered numerous attacks by Boko Haram, based across the border in northeast Nigeria.

In late April, Niamey announced a military operation against Boko Haram in the region of Lake Chad, which links Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Cameroon.

The group, which is seeking an Islamic state based on Sharia law, has caused the deaths of at least 20,000 people since it took up arms in 2009 in Nigeria.

First Published: Jun 05, 2018 17:10 IST