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Suicide Bombers Kill 27, Wound 83 in Northeast Nigeria

by Reuters /
A victim of a suicide bomber arrives in an ambulance at a hospital in Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday.AFP - Getty Images

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — A woman blew herself up and killed 27 other people at a market in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday in an attack bearing the hallmark of Boko Haram militants, two local officials said.

Two more suicide bombers detonated their devices at the gates to a nearby refugee camp, wounding many more people, an emergency services official said.

In all, 83 people were wounded in the three explosions near the city of Maiduguri, the epicenter of the long conflict between government forces and Boko Haram.

 A victim of a suicide bomber arrives in an ambulance at a hospital in Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday. AFP - Getty Images

Nigeria's military last year wrested back large areas from the Islamist insurgents. But the militants have struck back with renewed zeal since June, killing at least 143 people before Tuesday's bombings and weakening the army's control.

The group, which has waged an eight-year war to create an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria, provoked international outrage by kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls, known as the Chibok Girls, in April 2014.

Its better-known faction, led by Abubakar Shekau and based itself mainly in the sprawling Sambisa forest, has been characterized by its use of women and children as suicide bombers targeting mosques and markets.

Related: Boko Haram Is Increasingly Using Children In Suicide Attacks

In the meantime, a rival faction — based in the Lake Chad region, led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi and boasting ties to ISIS — has quietly become a deadly force capable of carrying out highly organized attacks.

Last month, an oil prospecting team was captured by al-Barnawi's group. At least 37 people, including members of the team, died when rescuers from the military and vigilantes attempted to free them.

The Boko Haram insurgency has killed 20,000 people and forced 2.7 million more to flee their homes in the last eight years.

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