Child Suicide Bombers Kill 15 in Nigeria
Boko Haram is believed to be behind the attacks
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2015 8:00 AM CDT
People walk past a damaged car at the site of a July suicide bombing in Maiduguri. Blasts in the Nigerian city Thursday were believed to be perpetrated by five young children.   (AP Photo/Jossy Ola)

(Newser) – Five children perpetrated the suicide bombings that killed 15 people, including themselves, and injured at least 35 others Thursday in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the BBC reports. Witnesses say the child suicide bombers—four girls and one boy—were between the ages of 9 and 15. Three of the bombs exploded at a mosque just before final evening prayers. The girl with the fourth bomb intended for the mosque ran off but died when her bomb also exploded. The fifth child suicide bomber struck the house of a vigilante leader, who was not home at the time.

The BBC reports Boko Haram is believed to be behind the attacks Thursday in Maiduguri, which was the Islamist militant group's original base six years ago. Boko Haram is stepping up attacks against civilians as the Nigerian military has begun seeing success in fighting them, according to Al Jazeera. A wave of attacks in Maiduguri less than two weeks ago killed at least 117 people. Earlier this week, Amnesty International called for greater protection for citizens from Boko Haram attacks. The group is believed to have killed at least 17,000 people since beginning attacks in 2009.