Monday, May 23rd, 2022

IS affiliates claim bomb attack at bar in north-east Nigeria | Nigeria

Explosives planted at a bar in north-east Nigeria have injured 11 people, police said on Saturday, the second attack in days targeting drinking spots in Taraba state and claimed by affiliates of the Islamic State group.

The blast went off at a moonshine bar in Nukkai, outside the state capital Jalingo around 1900 GMT on Friday, police spokesperson Usman Abdullahi told AFP.

“The explosive concealed in a polythene bag was left at the bar by an unknown person during a power outage,” he said.

“Eleven people were injured in the blast, including 10 men and a woman.”

On Saturday, the Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) claimed responsibility.

“The soldiers of the caliphate detonated an explosive device … inside a bar in Nukkai,” the group said on Telegram, claiming the attack wounded 10 people.

On Tuesday, an explosion at a bar in the nearby town of Iware killed six people and injured 16 others, police said.

Iswap claimed the blast in a statement posted on IS propaganda channels monitored by SITE Intelligence.

That was the first indication that Iswap was operating in Taraba, outside its known area of operations in the Lake Chad region.

Taraba is one of several northern states where criminal gangs and bandits, raid villages, kill residents, loot and burn homes and kidnap for ransom.

There have been increasing concerns about growing ties between jihadists and bandits who are motivated by financial motives with no ideological leaning.

Iswap and its rival Boko Haram are known to step up attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

On Wednesday, Iswap killed 11 people, including nine, at a bar in northeast Nigeria’s Yobe state.

A 13-year Islamist insurgency has killed 40,000 people and displaced 2 million in north-eastern Nigeria, according to the United Nations.

Elsewhere, an explosion at an illegal oil refining depot in Nigeria’s Rivers state killed over 100 people overnight, a local government official and the NGO Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) said on Saturday.

“The fire outbreak occurred at an illegal bunkering site and it affected over 100 people who were burnt beyond recognition,” the state commissioner for petroleum resources, Goodluck Opiah, said.

Unemployment and poverty in the Niger Delta have made illegal crude refining an attractive business but with deadly consequences. Crude oil is tapped from a maze of pipelines owned by major oil companies and refined into products in makeshift tanks.

The hazardous process has led to many fatal accidents and has polluted a region already blighted by oil spills in farmland, creeks and lagoons.

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