Nigerian army troops killed one Boko Haram insurgent near the city of Maiduguri on Saturday, leading to the rescue of 211 people held captive by the group. Hours later, two female suicide bombers were shot and killed as they attempted to enter the city. Photo courtesy of the Nigerian Army/Facebook

By Ed Adamczyk

(UPI) — Two female suicide bombers were shot to death before they could enter the city of Maiduguri, Nigeria, a civilian defense group reported.

The civilian Joint Task Force said the two suicide bombers, teenagers wearing explosive vests, were ordered to halt on Saturday night as they attempted to sneak into the city. They were shot and killed by security forces, and a Nigerian military official told the newspaper Premium Times that the retrieved vests were safely detonated by a police explosives team.

Hours before the incident, an unidentified member of Boko Haram, the Islamist insurgent group, was shot to death in the area by Nigerian army troops. This led to the rescue of 211 civilians held captive in the nearby villages of Murye and Mala Maja, a Nigerian Army spokesman said.

Authorities have not commented on the possible connection between the two events.

Suicide bombings by young girls have become a Boko Haram tactic in the past two years. More than 200 girls have died in the incidents in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State. The Premium Times reported that one girl, a captured potential suicide bomber, informed security forces that she was told by Boko Haram fighters that the explosive devices she wore would not harm her. After her mission, she said, she was assured of a safe haven, a handsome husband and a life of happiness.

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