MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: A suicide bomber targeting worshippers at a mosque in a remote village in northeast Nigeria killed five people and wounded dozens, a security source said on Saturday, in an area where Islamist insurgents are mounting attacks almost daily.
The source, who declined to be named, said Muslims in the village of Konduga were observing Friday prayers when the pick-up truck approached. A local vigilante group stopped the truck to inspect it and the bomber then detonated the bomb a few metres away from the mosque, he said.
Witness Mohammadu Sheriff said he had seen the vigilantes conducting checks on a pick-up van carrying firewood.
"Suddenly it exploded," he told Reuters on phone. "It would have been more devastating if the bomber had succeeded in driving near the mosque, which had over a thousand people in it."
The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has killed many thousands since launching an uprising in 2009, and several hundred in the past two months, as it has stepped up a campaign against civilians in the northeast.
The militants see all who do not subscribe to their austere brand of Sunni Islam as enemies and often attack mosques as well as churches, especially if it considers them too moderate.
The kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram from the village of Chibok in April made world headlines. Despite pledges of Western support and promises by President Goodluck Jonathan to free them, they remain in captivity.
A spate of bombings across the north and centre of Nigeria in the past three months has also demonstrated the rebels' ability to strike outside of their northeastern stronghold. (Reuters)