Nigerian Mob Beats Teen Suspected of Being a Bomber – but Likely Wasn’t
A mob at a Nigerian market beat a young woman to death and set her body ablaze Sunday, suspicious that she was hiding explosives in two plastic bottles hidden under her headscarf.
But it appears that the victim wasn’t a suicide bomber — she was just a teenage girl, police said.
The girl aroused suspicion when she refused to be frisked with a metal detector near the entrance to a vegetable market in Bauchi, a regional capital in the country’s northeast. Suicide bombings by women and young girls have become a common occurrence in Nigeria. According to Elizabeth Pearson, a member of the Nigeria Security Network who researches gender and radicalization, there were at least 28 women involved in suicide attacks in the last year, and the use of female bombers seems to have been increasingly embraced by Boko Haram extremists. At least 13 people in Bauchi state were killed last November when a woman blew herself up at a mobile-phone market.
Eyewitnesses in Bauchi on Sunday said that market-goers overpowered the girl after she refused a search. Her hijab, or headscarf, was lifted to reveal two plastic bottles strapped to either side of her waist. The crowd descended on the girl, clubbing her to death before placing a tire doused in gasoline on her body and lighting her on fire.
Accounts of the incident are inconsistent — Agence France-Presse reported the victim was accompanied by a man, while Bauchi yam vendor Mohd Adamu told the Associated Press that she was with another teenage girl.