On Tuesday, April 19, 2022, bombs exploded at a market in the rural town of Iware, Taraba State, killing one person. Shortly after, local police announced the death toll had increased to three, while 19 people reportedly sustained mortal injuries.
A day later, a terrorist group known as the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), claimed responsibility for the attack. According to a statement posted late on Wednesday, the attack was targeted at “a gathering of infidel Christians”, accused of selling and drinking alcohol. Although, conflict resolution experts believe the move is a deliberate attempt to expand territories under their control.
The statement posted on the ISWAP’s Telegram channel also added that the bombing affected 30 people but did not classify the casualty figure into dead and injured.
For over a decade, northern Nigeria has endured intense armed terrorist attacks, but Taraba state, with its predominantly Christian population, has not witnessed such attacks before.
Terrorist attacks, kidnapping and ethnic-based violence have intensified in recent years in Africa’s most populous country, with the government making little progress in improving the security conditions of its citizens. The worst and longest-running security crisis remains in northeast Nigeria, where Boko Haram and ISWAP have killed over 100,000 people.