A crowd beat to death a teenage girl accused of planning to be a suicide bomber and then set her body ablaze yesterday, according to police and witnesses at a northeastern Nigerian market. A second suspect, also a teenage girl, was arrested at the market in Bauchi city. The two girls aroused suspicion by refusing to be searched when they arrived at the gate to the vegetable market, a yam vendor says. People overpowered one girl and when they discovered she had two bottles strapped to her body, they clubbed her to death, put a tire doused in fuel over her head, and set it on fire, the vendor says.
But it seems doubtful the girl was actually a bomber as she didn't detonate any explosives when she was attacked, a police spokesman says, describing her as the victim of "mob action carried out by an irate crowd." A spate of suicide bombings has been blamed on Boko Haram, and some girls as young as 10 years old have been used to carry explosives that detonated in busy markets and bus stations, raising fears that the militant group may be using some of its hundreds of kidnap victims in bomb attacks. It's unclear whether such girls detonate explosives themselves or whether the bombs are controlled remotely. (Read more Bauchi stories.)