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Jan 17, 1:19 PM EST

Suicide attack at market in Nigeria's Maiduguri kills 12



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Suicide attack at market in Nigeria's Maiduguri kills 12

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) -- A double suicide bombing at a market in Nigeria's northern city of Maiduguri killed at least 12 people and wounded 48 others on Wednesday, residents and an emergency official said.

Ibrahim Usman, a trader in Muna Garage market, said the first bomber attacked inside the market while the other remained outside, killing only himself.

"Suddenly there was a loud bang and everywhere became disorganized," he said. "I counted 12 corpses and over 40 injured victims."

The head of rescue operations for the State Emergency Management Agency, Bello Dambatta, said a female bomber attacked the market while the other attacker was male.

Muna Garage, the site of a camp for displaced people, has been attacked several times in the past few years by Boko Haram insurgents. Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, has been a refuge for thousands of people displaced by the insurgency in Nigeria's northeast.

Boko Haram, which was formed in Maiduguri, has killed more than 20,000 people in its nine-year insurgency. The Islamic extremist group has used a growing number of women and children as suicide bombers, often after abducting and indoctrinating them, in recent months.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari in his New Year's address again claimed that Boko Haram had been largely defeated. That came a year after he declared that the extremist group had been "crushed" following a military effort to flush the fighters from their forest strongholds.

A series of deadly attacks in Maiduguri and elsewhere followed last year.

The insurgency has displaced millions of people, creating one of the world's largest humanitarian crises, and staged attacks in neighboring countries participating in a military operation against it.

Boko Haram wants to set aside Nigeria's constitution and replace it with Shariah law.

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