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A bomb ripped through a crowded market on a bridge along Nigeria’s border with Cameroon on Monday, killing nine people and injuring several others, security sources said.

The bomb exploded around 1520 GMT on the Nigerian side of the El Beid bridge, which separates the town of Gamboru in Nigeria from Fotokol in Cameroon.

“Preliminary findings revealed that nine people were killed… and all are Nigerians,” an army officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Twenty-six people were injured, including 21 Nigerians and five Cameroonians, the officer said.

Many on the bridge jumped into the river, witnesses said.

The leader of a local civilian militia told AFP that the victims included young children selling groceries on the bridge.

The Boko Haram jihadist group operates on both sides of the border and has frequently carried out deadly suicide attacks.

Gamboru, a trading hub, has been rocked by violence since August 2014 when Boko Haram jihadists seized the town along with nearby Ngala.

Nigerian troops retook both towns in September 2015 with the help of Chadian forces after months of fierce battles.

But jihadist fighters continue to launch sporadic attacks, ambushing troops and vehicles, farmers and attacking refugee camps.

Boko Haram and its rival Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), which split from it in 2016, are known to operate in areas around Gamboru and Ngala.

Boko Haram’s decade-long conflict has killed 36,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in northeast Nigeria.

The violence had spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the militants.

AFP.

 

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