11 dead as Nige­rian troops re­pel Boko Haram sui­cide bombers

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - HARUNA UMAR AND IS­MAIL ALFA ABDULRAHIM

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 ci- vil­ians 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 spokesper­son for the U.N. 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 out- skirts, 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.

The at­tack also tar­geted a mil­i­tary check­point, ac­cord­ing to Ahmed Satomi of the Borno State Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency.

Sol­diers later fired at gun­men on mo­tor­cy­cles es­cort­ing other sui­cide bombers, killing at least six of the bombers.

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