City of Maiduguri once again struck by jihadist fighters
Boko Haram have attacked the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri once again, waking residents with deafening explosions in the early hours of the morning and then a suicide bombing that witnesses said killed as many as 20 people.
The extremist group which seeks to impose Islamic law across northern Nigeria has repeatedly attacked Maiduguri, the largest city in the northeast, since the newly elected president has designated it as the new headquarters in the war to curb the Islamic uprising.
“We are under siege,” Sumaila Ayuba, her voice shaking, told The Associated Press by telephone just after midnight from her home on the city’s western flank after her sleep was shattered by the explosions. “The shooting is quite deafening. Please, we need prayers.”
Hours later, a man blew himself up at Gamboru cattle market, the site of previous bombings, officials said. One witness said he counted at least 20 bodies. The National Emergency Management Agency said 10 people were killed and many others injured.
Over the weekend, more than 30 people died in another Boko Haram assault involving a suicide bombing and rocket-propelled grenades.
Also Tuesday, Boko Haram released a new video that allegedly shows militants shooting wounded Nigerian soldiers in the head and beheading a man in civilian clothes as well as charred parts claimed to be the remnants of a downed Nigerian jet fighter.
Leader missing in video
The video, the first released since it pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, has no sign of longtime leader Abubakar Shekau, previously a mainstay of the group’s videos.
The video gloats over alleged disunity in the multinational force that in March announced it had driven Boko Haram from all towns and villages. Nigerian neighbours Chad and Niger have said the fight against Boko Haram would be long over if they had better co-operation from Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari is travelling to Chad and Niger on Wednesday on his first official trip outside Nigeria, spokesman Garba Shehu said.
The uprising has killed an estimated 13,000 people and driven 1.5 million from their homes.