Police in northeastern Nigeria said Saturday that two female suicide bombers were killed by one of their own bombs while trying to hitch a ride toward the city of Maiduguri.
A local police officer told VOA that the women stood on the side of a road and were trying to flag down a vehicle in Jakana, about 40 kilometers west of Maiduguri, but were ignored by several motorists.
He said that about 4:20 p.m. local time, police heard a loud explosion. When they reached the site of the blast, they found one woman torn apart by the explosion, while the other lay dead with an unexploded bomb strapped around her waist.
He said police were waiting for bomb experts to defuse the undetonated device before picking up the bodies.
The police officer said motorists around Maiduguri have become wary of picking up female hitchhikers because of several incidents in which women carried out suicide bombings.
On Monday, a female suicide bomber blew herself up in a Maiduguri fish market, killing at least 30 people.
There was no claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on militant group Boko Haram. The Islamist extremist group has kidnapped hundreds of women and girls, and there are fears the militants are using the captives in its campaign.
Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks in recent weeks, since new Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari moved the military’s command center to Maiduguri from the capital, Abuja.