Woman killed by mob in Bauchi was not a suicide bomber

by Ranti Joseph

File photo
File photo

The woman who was beaten to death on Sunday in Bauchi on suspicion of being a suicide bomber was actually mentally ill according to police and her family.

Thabita Haruna, 33, was attacked by a mob on Sunday after she refused to be screened at a marketplace in Bauchi.

Police are investigating the attack and have yet to make any arrests.

Boko Haram militants based in northern Nigeria have been using women to carry out suicide bombings.

The militants want to impose a strict version of Islam and have declared a caliphate in the territory under their control. Haruna was set upon by a mob last Sunday after she refused to be searched by vigilantes at the entrance to a marketplace.

A witness said that the woman came under suspicion when two bottles were found strapped to her waist. The mob placed a tyre sprinkled with petrol over the woman’s head and set it alight after she was beaten, according to witnesses.

Police say that she was dead by the time they arrived at the scene. Earlier reports had indicated that the woman was a teenager.

The woman’s family says she had worked as a market trader until 2007, when she became mentally ill.

“I feel very very sad because she is my blood. We sleep in the same bed; we eat at the same plate…. That really pains me,” Haruna sister said.

According to the BBC Hausa service’s Ishaq Khalid in Bauchi, the people in the town have condemned the attack.

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