A crowd beat to death a teenage girl accused of planning to be a suicide bomber and then set her ablaze on Sunday, according to police and witnesses in Bauchi State.
A second suspect, also a teenage girl, was arrested at Muda Lawal Market, the biggest market in Bauchi city, reported the Associated Press (AP).
A spate of suicide bombings has been blamed on Nigeria's homegrown Boko Haram Islamic extremist group, which wants to enforce strict Islamic law across Nigeria. The group has threatened to disrupt Nigeria's March 28 presidential and legislative elections, saying democracy is a corrupt Western concept.
In Bauchi, the two girls aroused suspicion by refusing to be searched when they arrived at the gate to the vegetable market, said yam vendor Mohammed Adamu. People overpowered one girl and discovered she had two bottles strapped to her body, he said.
They clubbed her to death, put a tyre doused in fuel over her head and set it on fire, he said.
It seems doubtful the girl was actually a bomber, as she did not detonate any explosive when she was attacked, said Police Deputy Superintendent Mohammad Haruna. He described her as the victim of “mob action carried out by an irate crowd”.
Recently, some girls as young as 10-year-olds have been used to carry explosives that were detonated in busy markets and bus stations, raising fears that Boko Haram may be using some of hundreds of its kidnapped victims in bomb attacks. It's unclear whether such girls detonate explosives themselves or whether the bombs are controlled remotely.
President Goodluck Jonathan last week condemned the Boko Haram insurgents for choosing soft targets and said the series of bombings were a response to the Nigerian military's recent success in seizing back a score of towns that had been in the hands of the extremists for months.
A multinational military force including Nigeria's neighbours has been formed to stop Boko Haram's attacks outside Nigeria's borders.
Some 10,000 people died in Nigeria from Boko Haram's violence last year, compared to 2,000 in the first four years, according to the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, and some 1.5 million people have been driven from their homes.