* Death count from earlier attacks reaches 110 - leaders
* Fleeing villagers stranded, short of food - senator
* Boko Haram has killed thousands, targeting civilians
By Isaac Abrak and Lanre Ola
ABUJA/MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, June 8 A female
suicide bomber killed herself and a soldier outside an army
barracks in Nigeria's northeastern city of Gombe on Sunday, the
military said, as local leaders reported the death count from a
string of earlier militant attacks had reached 110.
No one claimed responsibility for the blast or last week's
assaults but Islamist group Boko Haram has set off bombs and
killed thousands in its five-year-old bid to carve out an
Islamist state in the region.
Soldiers stopped the woman as she tried to get into the
barracks with explosives hidden under her robes, defence
headquarters said in a statement.
The device went off, killing her and a soldier searching
her, it added. "I heard a loud sound and then black smoke
covering the place ... We saw soldiers moving bodies," Gombe
trader Bello Kasuwankatako told Reuters.
Witnesses had earlier said between three and five people
Boko Haram - which dominated world headlines by kidnapping
more than 200 schoolgirls in April - has fought back against an
army offensive, piling political pressure on President Goodluck
Jonathan and the military to end the carnage.
Leaders from Gombe's neighbouring state of Borno told
journalists on Sunday they had now buried 110 bodies from
attacks on nine villages early last week - giving the first
detailed breakdown on the casualties.
"It was a great tragedy. There are still corpses lying in
the bushes surrounding the communities. Many of our people that
fled to the top of the hills during and after the attacks are
still there and now stranded," said Ali Ndume, a senator
representing southern Borno.
CIVILIANS EASY TARGETS
Boko Haram started off focusing on military and government
targets alongside schools - seen as representing corrupt Western
influence - churches, and Muslim leaders who do not follow its
brand of Islam.
It has been increasingly turning its guns on civilians in
recent months, particularly after locals started setting up
vigilante groups to try and fight back.
It has become the biggest security threat to Africa's
biggest economy and oil producer.
Traditional leader Lawan Abba Kaka said they had buried 42
corpses at the village of Attagara, 24 at Aganjara, 20 at
Agapalawa and smaller numbers at other settlements - all of them
in the Gwoza hills near the border with Cameroon.
"The insurgents came and said they wanted to discuss
something with us. They said we need to discuss some issues
bordering on our differences in the communities but they opened
fire on people who were gathered," said Kaka.
On Wednesday, gunmen rounded up more villagers outside
Borno's state capital Maiduguri saying they were going to
deliver a sermon, then opened fire, killing at least 42, said a
"It seems they are moving to rural areas," Hannah Donges, a
researcher at the Small Arms Survey, told Reuters. "They are
easier targets ... It doesn't need sophisticated tactics. It
makes them (Boko Haram) less predictable."
Suspected Boko Haram militants attacked a town in Cameroon's
far north on Saturday but local security forces fought them off,
killing at least two gunmen, Cameroon's government said. The
militant group is also thought to be active in neighbouring
Niger and Chad.
The kidnapping of the girls from a secondary school in
Borno's town of Chibok triggered a national and international
campaign under the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, calling
on the government to step its efforts to free them.
(Writing by Andrew Heavens; Editing by Stephen Powell, Bernard