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Pastor, 8 others, killed in attacks by Boko Haram suicide bombers

(REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)People displaced as a result of Boko Haram attacks in the northeast region of Nigeria, are seen near their tents at a faith-based camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in Yola, Adamawa State January 14, 2015.

A Christian pastor and eight others were killed in two separate attacks in Maiduguri, Nigeria on Oct. 29. The attacks were carried out by female suicide bombers who are believed to be members of Boko Haram.

The pastor belonged to the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), according to World Watch Monitor.

France 24 reported that the first blast occured when two suicide bombers tried to enter a camp that holds more than 16,000 refugees. The military however, clarified that there is only one attacker.

"A suspected female suicide bomber ran into a group of men and women at the entrance while they were coming out of the camp, killing five men and injuring 11 women," said military spokesman Col. Mustapha Anka.

The second explosion occured about a kilometer away from the first site about half an hour later. A tricycle taxi driven by the bomber and carrying two passengers reportedly exploded outside a gas station. The taxi followed a fuel tanker "with the sole aim of gaining entry to cause maximum damage and casualty."

Nine bodies, including the suicide bombers, were recovered in the explosions. Twenty-four wounded people have been brought to nearby hospitals, according to Sani Datta, a spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency.

The blasts on Saturday is the second attack in two weeks. On Oct. 12, an bomb explosion killed eight refugees in a taxi-van outside Maiduguri.

Christians who are experiencing difficulties in refugee camps in Maiduguri cannot go back home due to the constant attacks carried out by Boko Haram.

Aid workers who visited the camps described their experience this way: "Life has become hell for the more than 3,000 people living here... Already people are resorting to eating leaves. Children are dying of hunger. If nothing is done for these people, this will lead to a huge tragedy. People cannot go home because Boko Haram is constantly regrouping and continuing attacks."

The terrorist group is still in talks with the Nigerian government regarding the release of the remaining Chibok schoolgirls. Rumors have circulated that the negotiations are postponed due to the attacks blamed on Boko Haram but a government official has assured that the talks are still ongoing.

 

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