Protesters march against Boko Haram
Protesters march against Boko Haram Reuters

An angry crowd beat to death a young girl and then set her body on fire on 1 March, according to police and eye witnesses.

A second teenage girl, also suspected of being a suicide bomber, was arrested in Muda Lawal, the largest market in Bauchi, Nigeria.

Several suicide bombings have been blamed on Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group that wants to create a caliphate in Nigeria.

The two girls refused to be searched when they arrived at the gate to the vegetable market, said yam vendor Mohd Adamu, in an Associated Press (AP) report.

People then overpowered one girl, clubbed her to death, then put a tire doused in petrol over her head and then set it ablaze, he said.

However, whether the girl was a suicide bomber remains in doubt as she did not detonate any explosives when she was attacked, said Police Deputy Superintendent Mohammad Haruna. He described her in anthe AP report as the victim of "mob action carried out by an irate crowd".

Fears of female suicide bombers have grown in recent months, as some girls as young as ten, have been used to carry bombs that explode in busy markets and bus stations for maximum damage. There are concerns that Boko Haram is using its kidnap victims to carry out such attacks.

A girl thought to be as young as seven killed herself and five others in a suicide bombing in a market in the town of Potiskum in north-eastern Nigeria on 22 February.

Suspicious security guards said they tried to prevent the girl, whom witnesses said appeared to be around seven years of age, from entering the market.

"We sent her back four times, because given her age, she did not have anything to do in the market," Buba Lawan, an eyewitness told The Guardian.

"When we were screening people, she bent and tried to pass under the ropes, some distance from our view. That was when the explosives went off."

In a bid to prevent female suicide bombers, Lawan said: "we have barred women from entering the market to prevent further attacks."