Boko Haram Nigeria
A Boko Haram flag flies from an abandoned command post .Getty

Twin blasts have killed at least 22 people in a mosque in northeastern Nigeria. Two female suicide bombers detonated explosives in Maiduguri, capital of the restive Borno state, which is at the epicentre of an insurgency led by Boko Haram terrorists.

One suicide bomber blew herself up in the mosque and the other outside the building, killing worshippers who were trying to flee. A statement by Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, seen by IBTimes UK, said at least 18 people were injured in the attack.

Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorists?

Boko Haram, which has renamed itself Iswap, fights against Western influence in Nigeria and aims to impose its version of Sharia law throughout occupied territories.

The group carries out attacks in Nigeria and neighbouring countries in a bid to take control of more territory. Three Nigerian states − Adamawa, Borno and Yobe − have been under a state of emergency since May 2013.

Boko Haram has killed 20,000 people since 2009 and was deemed the world's deadliest terror group, surpassing its ally, Islamic State (Isis), in November 2015.

Nigeria has become the third most terrorised country as a result of the group's violent insurgency.

"Troops, security agents and care givers have been mobilized to the scene, while the wounded have been evacuated to Molai General Hospital for treatment," the statement read.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts, but the focus is likely to rest on Boko Haram, renowned for kidnapping civilians and forcing them to carry out suicide bombing missions.

"While we commiserate with the families of the victims of this dastardly act, we wish to reassure the public that we would continue to rout the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists wherever they may be hiding. Meanwhile, we implore members of the public to be more security conscious, cooperate with the troops and security agencies," continued Usman.


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Nigeria: Governments must tackle root causes of terrorism or Boko Haram 'will simply regroup in another place'IBTimes UK