2014 Mubi bombing

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On the evening of 1 June 2014, a bomb was set off at a football field in Mubi, Adamawa State, Nigeria. At least forty people were killed in the attack, according to eyewitnesses.[1] Nineteen others were injured.[2] The perpetrators of the attack were not clear, although media reports generally blamed Boko Haram.[1]

Background[edit]

Mubi is located within a few miles of the Nigeria–Cameroon border. It is one of three towns in Northeastern Nigeria that have been under a state of emergency for more than one year. Even so, Adamawa State has experienced relative peace, experiencing few attacks by the Boko Haram insurgency.[1]

Boko Haram is a terrorist group opposed to the Westernisation of Nigeria, which they have stated is the root cause of criminal behaviour in the country.[3] Thousands of people have been killed in attacks perpetrated by the group, and the federal government declared a state of emergency in May 2013 in Borno State in its fight against the insurgency.[4] The resulting crackdown, however, has failed to stabilise the country.[5][6]

Boko Haram's attacks have intensified in 2014. In February, the group killed more than 100 Christian men in the villages of Doron Baga and Izghe.[5] Also in February, 59 boys were killed in the Federal Government College attack in Yobe State.[7] In April 2014, the group abducted more than 200 school girls on the same day as a bombing attack in Abuja killed at least 88 people.[8] By mid-April, Boko Haram had been blamed for nearly 4,000 deaths in 2014.[5] At least 500 more people have been killed since then.[9]

After the kidnapping, international attention on the situation greatly intensified. The United States, the United Kingdom, France, and other nations pledged monetary and/or military support to combat Boko Haram. However, attacks continued.[1] On 20 May, 118 people were killed in a pair of bombings in Jos. The following day, two dozen people were killed in a raid on a village.[10]

Attack[edit]

At approximately 6:30 pm local time (17:30 UTC), a bomb went off as spectators were leaving a football field in Kabang, Mubi.[1] A number of shops were destroyed in the blast. One survivor described the scene: "After the commotion, I stood up covered with my own blood, but I realized that I was lucky to be injured as those who were not that lucky were shattered into pieces."[2]

According to one eyewitness, the blast appeared to come from within a crowd of people walking across the field on their way home, possibly suggesting the attack was the work of a suicide bomber.[1] However, other eyewitnesses said a car had delivered the explosives.[11] A similar attack was attempted at a football field in Jos the previous weekend, but the would-be-suicide bomber blew up before reaching the target.[9]

Initial reports said 14 people were killed in the attack and 12 injured.[9] The official death toll was upped to 18 with 19 injuries the next day.[2] However, the actual death toll was much higher according to locals. A nurse said the morgue at the local hospital was "overcrowded" with 40 or more bodies; a police officer backed her report.[1][2] An eyewitness who lost two family members said about 45 people had died.[2]

Suspects[edit]

Media reports were quick to link the attack to Boko Haram. However, the area has also been subject to non-Boko Haram violence in recent years, so the perpetrators were not clear.[1] On 2 June, a suspect was arrested by the military who had surrounded the city in hopes of catching the perpetrator.[4] Eyewitnesses reported seeing the suspect's car at the scene of the bombing.[11]

Reaction[edit]

Politicians including Adamawa State governor Murtala Nyako and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, described the attack as barbaric. Nyako said the government was saddened by the attack, but called on citizens to remain calm and assist in the investigation. The military surrounded the town in an effort to catch those responsible for the attack.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Bombing at northeast Nigeria football match kills at least 40". times of India. AFP. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bayo Oladeji; Mohammed Ismail (3 June 2014). "Mubi Attack: Prayers Saved Me From Perishing In Bomb Attack – Survivor". Leadership. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  3. ^ McElroy, Damien (6 July 2013). "Extremist attack in Nigeria kills 42 at boarding school". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Nigeria school attack claims 42 lives". The Australian. Agence France-Presse. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Dorell, Oren (21 April 2014). "Terrorists kidnap more than 200 Nigerian girls". USA Today. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Aronson, Samuel (28 April 2014). "AQIM and Boko Haram Threats to Western Interests in the Africa’s Sahel". Combating Terrorism Center Sentinel (CTC), West Point. 
  7. ^ "Boko Haram kills 59 children at Nigerian boarding school". The Guardian. 25 February 2014. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Perkins, Anne (23 April 2014). "200 girls are missing in Nigeria – so why doesn't anybody care?". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c Lanre Ola; Imma Ande. "Nigeria bomb kills at least 14 at northeast football TV showing". Reuters. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Nigeria violence: 'Boko Haram' kill 27 in village attacks". BBC. BBC. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Nigeria army arrests Sunday bomb suspect". Star Africa. APA. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 

Coordinates: 10°16′00″N 13°16′00″E / 10.2667°N 13.2667°E / 10.2667; 13.2667