At least 17 killed in NE Nigeria suicide attacks blamed on Boko Haram

Thursday October 8 2015

At least 1,260 people have been killed in

At least 1,260 people have been killed in Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in May 2015 (AFP ) 

Lagos (AFP) - At least 17 people were killed in a series of suicide bomb attacks in northeast Nigeria Wednesday, as Boko Haram released a new video saying its leader was still alive and in charge of the Islamist group.

The worst of the violence struck the Yobe state capital of Damaturu, which was rocked by triple blasts that killed 14 people and left 10 others injured, according to Bashir Idris Garga, Yobe state coordinator at the National Emergency Management Agency.

Damaturu has been repeatedly attacked during Boko Haram's six-year insurgency. Last month, a girl thought to be aged 12 killed six when the explosives she was carrying went off outside a bus station.

Garga said the first blast Wednesday happened at a small food store, killing four. Another near a mosque killed one, while nine, including a family, lost their lives when a bomber struck a Fulani settlement on the outskirts of the city.

Yobe governor Ibrahim Gaidam called the attacks "cowardly and barbaric" and urged improvements in surveillance.

State police spokesman Toyin Gbadegesin told AFP "gun-wielding bombers" carried out the attacks between 5:30 and 6:00 am (0400 to 0500 GMT), before the night-time curfew was lifted.