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Female suicide bomber kills several in Nigeria

By IBRAHIM GARBA and HEATHER MURDOCK

KANO, Nigeria (AP) - A woman blew herself up at a petrol station in northern Nigeria on Monday, killing three people in the second female suicide bombing in Kano in two days, police said.

The woman was in line with other women, all wearing traditional northern Nigerian dresses and long Muslim headscarves, waiting to buy kerosene for cooking before she set off the bomb, said Tijjani Isa, an attendant at the station.

"I was nearby the queue when I heard a heavy loud (noise)," he said. "And immediately saw people running while others went down."

The suicide bombing was one of five attacks in Kano in two days, said police spokesman Musa Magaji Majia.

Another bomb blast went off across from a Shoprite supermarket Monday, but no one was harmed.

On Sunday, a 15-year-old girl detonated a bomb near a temporary university site, killing only herself, said Kano State Police Commissioner Aderenle Shinaba. Five others were killed in a church bombing the same day, he said, and a third bomb was discovered at a mosque before it exploded, harming no one.

Three suspected Boko Haram militants were arrested immediately after the church bombing, Shinaba said. Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in five years of insurgency. The group has previously targeted churches and mosques. Female suicide bombers are rare in Nigeria but women seem to be playing an increasingly large role in the conflict after more than 200 teenage girls were kidnapped in April.

The city of Kano has banned all public worship and celebrations over the holiday marking the end of Ramadan that is currently underway. Other northern Nigerian cities have banned personal vehicles, fearing intensified violence over the holidays.

Kano is outside the region of northern Nigeria that has been under emergency rule for more than a year, but it is a frequent target of Boko Haram attacks. The group says it wants to impose its harsh version of Islamic law on the region, but it often attacks mosques, sheiks and Muslim civilians.

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