•83 others injured in deadliest strike since ceasefire talks
The Boko Haram terrorists have in a fresh attacks, killed at least 16 people including a soldier and injured 83 others in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, North East Nigeria. This is the biggest strike since the government said it was in talks with the Islamist group.
The Deputy Director Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Monday confirmed the attack took place on Sunday night.
Nwachukwu regretted that one soldier with 15 other civilians were killed as troops of the Lafiya Dole deployed battled hard to foil the attack in the Cashew Plantation around Bille Shuwa and Alikaranti villages of the state.
“Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in the Cashew Plantation around Bille Shuwa and Alikaranti villages quashed an attempt by Boko Haram terrorists to penetrate Maiduguri metropolis yesterday at about 8.10 pm.
“Sadly, 15 persons including a soldier have so far been confirmed dead in the encounter, while about 83 persons who suffered varying degrees of injuries are receiving due medical attention,” he stated.
According to him, the troops succeeded in killing six of the terrorists and neutralised seven suicide bombers in the encounter.
“The Nigerian Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal team detonated two IED vests recovered from the killed suicide bombers Beaten by the troops and unable to force their way into the metropolis, the insurgents retreated and callously resorted to attacking locals who, reacting to the encounter were fleeing in confusion from Bille Shuwa and Alikaranti villages with Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Device,” he added.
He also explained that gallant troops also recovered two AK 47 rifles and two Magazine after resisting the insurgents.
The latest attack in the troubled north-eastern state comes 48 hours after a similar attack on Friday killed one person and injured 13 persons.
Maiduguri is the epicentre of the nine-year conflict with Boko Haram that has killed more than 20,000 people.
President Muhammadu Buhari has prioritised improving security and previously said the group, which is trying establish an Islamic State and split into two factions in 2016, had been defeated.
The gun attack took place on Sunday night in Bale Shuwari, a settlement near army barracks on the edge of Maiduguri’s inner city, military sources said.
“Sixty-eight were injured and 15 innocent people were killed,” said Bello Dambatta, chairman of the rapid response team for the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
It is the most significant attack on the city since the government said last week it was is in talks with the insurgents with the aim of securing a permanent ceasefire.
The government has not disclosed which elements of Boko Haram it is in discussions with, and neither was it clear which faction carried out Sunday’s attack.