Jihadists affiliated to the Islamic State said it detonated the bomb, on a bar in northern Nigeria in an area outside their typical zone of operations, “killing and wounding nearly 30 Christians and damaging the bar.”

Recall that the Police said three people died and 19 were injured on Tuesday when an explosive device went off at a bar outside Jalingo, capital of Taraba state.

State policeman Usman Abdullahi told AFP on Thursday that three of the injured had died, bringing the death toll to six.

However, in a statement released in Arabic on Wednesday, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), translated by SITE Intelligence which monitors jihadist activities worldwide, said the attack was “revenge” for the death of two of the group’s leaders, without giving further details.

The blast occurred in a crowded open-air moonshine bar in the town of Iware.

ISWAP has become the dominant threat in northeast Nigeria since the death in May 2021 of Abubakar Shekau, the former leader of rival group Boko Haram.

More than 40,000 people have died and around two million have fled their homes since the insurgency began in 2009.

Nigeria’s military has scaled up its offensive ahead of the rainy season which starts next month, killing high-profile commanders in recent airstrikes on the group’s camps.

Taraba is located in the eastern central part of Nigeria and has not experienced any jihadist attacks since 2014.

However, the state is a hotspot for kidnappings for ransom by criminal gangs, known locally as bandits.

There has been growing concern about increasing ties between jihadists and bandits who are motivated by financial motives with no ideological leaning.

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