A dog has died after attacking a female suicide bomber as she tried to detonate explosives at a wedding party in north eastern Nigeria. The incident occurred in Maiduguri, capital of restive Borno state, where suicide bombings at the hands of Boko Haram are common.

"A female suicide bomber with IED strapped to her body attempted to infiltrate a wedding ceremony gathering in Belbelo community of Jere", the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force in Borno State, Victor Isuku, was quoted by the Premium Times as saying.

"She was however prevented by a watch dog, so she had to detonate the IED to kill herself and the dog. The dog was owned by a resident in the locality," he continued.

Isuku added no other casualties was reported.

It is not clear whether the dog had been trained to detect bombs.

The incident occurred shortly after three suicide bombers blew themselves up as they tried to enter Maiduguri on 2 April.

Boko Haram is renowned for kidnapping civilians, mainly women and children, and forcing them to carry out suicide bombing missions.

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 launches 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 more than 20,000 people since 2009 and was deemed the world's deadliest terror group, surpassing Isis in November 2015. Nigeria has also become the world's third-most terrorised country as a result of the group's violent insurgency.

Is fight against Boko Haram over?

Both the Nigerian government and army have often claimed the fight against Boko Haram is over.

The terrorists used to control total territory the size of Belgium. However, Nigeria's ongoing military operation, Lafiya Dole, and a regional offensive – consisting of 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin – have scored some success, with soldiers recapturing key territories and releasing thousands of civilians held captive by the group.

But security analysts have pointed out that declaring a victory over the group is premature, given that Boko Haram is still able to carry out attacks and recruit people.

Experts also warned that underlying issues such as disenfranchisement, poverty and strong links with Isis would continue to pose major threats to stability in the region.

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