Eleven people dead as Nigerian troops repel Boko Haram suicide bombers
Battling multiple bombers strapped with suicide vests, Nigerian troops and civilian self- defence fighters on Friday repelled the fiercest Boko Haram extremist attack in months on the key northeastern city of Maiduguri. Nine bombers and two civilians were killed, according to witnesses, soldiers and police.
The United Nations said the attackers targeted refugees in the city that is the birthplace of the Islamic uprising and the headquarters of the military campaign to halt it.
Friday’s targets were a site hosting more than 9,000 refugees and a garage where some have gathered to get transportation home, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN secretary general, told reporters in New York. “These are not the first attacks affecting the most vulnerable people.”
Residents in Maiduguri awoke to mighty explosions around midnight. Three female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a truck station, detonating vehicles at Muna Garage on the city’s eastern outskirts, according to police Deputy Superintendent Victor Iskukwu.
Two civilians died in the blasts and seven self- defence fighters were wounded, witness Ayuba Ibrahim told The Associated Press.
“Most of the trucks that were loaded with goods for export to Chad and the border communities were destroyed, along with commodities worth millions of naira,” Ibrahim said.
Boko Haram’s seven-year Islamic uprising has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes, creating the worst humanitarian crisis on the continent with millions facing starvation.