ISWAP claims bombing targeted at Christians
The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) armed group has claimed responsibility for an explosion that killed or injured 30 people at a market where alcohol was sold in Nigeria’s eastern Taraba state. This attack marks an expansion of the area where the ISIS-affiliated group operates in the country.
The attack took place on Tuesday, April 20, in the rural town of Iware. Local police initially said three people were killed and 19 injured. They could not immediately be reached on Thursday to comment on the ISWAP claim or casualty count.
In a statement posted late on Wednesday on a Telegram messaging channel used by ISWAP, the group described those who detonated the bomb in the market as “soldiers of the caliphate in central Nigeria.”
The statement said the attack had struck “a gathering of infidel Christians” and expressed satisfaction that the place where alcohol could be purchased had been destroyed.
Northeast Nigeria has been in the grip of rebellions for more than a decade. Still, at the eastern end of Nigeria’s central region, Taraba has not witnessed such violence before.