At least 85 people have been killed and 170 injured in a night-time suicide bomb attack by Islamist extremists in Nigeria.
The assault by the group Boko Haram at a truck stop in Yola, Adamawa state, in the north east was the first terrorist attack since October when a spate of bombings killed 82 people and injured more than 100.
Most of the victims were street vendors and passers-by, said Deputy Superintendent Othman Abubakar, the police spokesman for Adamawa.
“The enemies of humanity will never win. Hand in hand, we will rid our land of terrorism,” Nigeria’s defiant President Muhammadu Buhari said in a tweet.
The Islamist militant group has been waging a violent uprising in Nigeria since 2009 in an attempt to establish an Islamic State, or caliphate, in the north east.
Boko Haram declared a caliphate in Gwoza in March and a sharp rise in attacks this year has brought the number of people forced to flee the group’s insurgency to 2.1 million.
According to the UN’s children agency around 1.4 million of those “on the run” are children.
The group controlled significant swathes of territory across three states in northeastern Nigeria at the beginning of 2015 before government forces supported by Chad, Niger and Cameroon pushed it back.
Now heavily splintered, Boko Haram factions have reverted to guerrilla tactics, including raiding villages for supplies and bombing soft targets such as places of worship, markets and bus stations.
But while the army has freed the last few towns still under some form of Boko Haram control, many of those displaced are reluctant to return home.
Analysts say Nigeria’s military is struggling to maintain gains and that as it takes one area, Boko Haram moves into another in the vast arid spaces dotted by forests in the northeast.
Some 20,000 people have been killed in the six-year-old Islamic uprising.Follow us on Twitter at @Riverinenews
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