At least 14 people have been killed when the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group launched a fresh attack in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s Borno state. Police said on Thursday that two dozen people were also wounded in explosions and shootings overnight in the suburbs of Maiduguri.
“A total of 13 people were killed in the multiple explosions with 24 persons injured while one person died in the attack (shooting),” Borno police commissioner Damian Chukwu said, adding that militants also set several buildings on fire before they were repelled by police forces.
Witnesses said shootings and explosions lasted for around an hour in the southeastern and southwestern outskirts of Maiduguri, prompting thousands to flee their homes. Borno has been the hotspot of attacks by Boko Haram since the Takfiri group launched its insurgency against the Nigerian government in 2009. Maiduguri, a city of more than a million, has been largely free of violence over the past two years as a result of a successful military operation against the militants.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari announced six months ago that Boko Haram had been technically defeated and that the group could no longer pose a threat to major urban centers in northern Nigeria. He said many of Boko Haram members were forced to remote jungles near the border with Cameroon.
However, the group continues to launch attacks in Nigeria. The Boko Haram militancy has left more than 20,000 people killed and around three million displaced. The insurgency has also affected Nigeria’s neighbors of Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
Recent reports have suggested that despite army’s success in purging many towns and cities from militants, humanitarian staff still have difficulty reaching affected people as a massive risk of famine looms large for around 1.5 people in off-limit areas.