21 killed in Boko Haram suicide attack on Shia procession in Nigeria
The incident occurred in the village of Dakasoye, some 20 kilometers south of the state capital city of Kano.
“Our procession came under a suicide attack," Muhammad Turi, who was leading thousands of Islamic Movement of Nigeria followers, told AFP.
Turi said that the deadly attack came as no surprise for the Shia marchers as “this is the situation all over the country.”
Despite the bombing, the procession, which was on its way from Kano to Zaria, located in a neighboring state, continued to match.
"This will not deter us from our religious observance. Even if all of us were bombed the last person will carry on with this duty,” Turi stressed.
"It was in a bush area, on a farmland along the highway, our concern is to make everywhere safe. The bomb was made of high caliber explosive," police commissioner Muhammad Musa Katsina told Reuters.
The bomber, who was dressed in black like the majority of the procession, ran into the crowd before he could be spotted and detonated the bomb, one of the organizers told AFP.
“His accomplice was initially arrested and confessed they were sent by Boko Haram," the unnamed organizer said.
The two attackers were among the young men abducted by the terror group in the Borno state town of Mubi in 2014.
According to the organizer, they received training at the Boko Haram camp in to Sambisa Forest before being sent to Kano eleven days beforehand.
On the weekend, a female suicide bomber killed eight in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri.
Boko Haram has stepped up its suicide attacks in Nigeria after a recent offensive by government forces forced them to abandon controlled territories.
The radical terror group is fighting to create an Islamic caliphate northeast Nigeria, with its six-year insurgency having left over 17,000 people dead.
According to a report by Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram were responsible for 6,644 deaths in 2014, compared to 6,073 attributed to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).