At least 15 killed, scores wounded in Boko Haram at­tack

Arab News - - INTERNATIONAL - AP

Nige­ria’s Boko Haram Is­lamic ex­trem­ists at­tacked two vil­lages on the out­skirts of the north­east­ern city of Maiduguri late Sun­day, killing at least 15 peo­ple, the mil­i­tary said Mon­day.

The Boko Haram mil­i­tants tried to en­ter the cen­ter of Maidugiri, the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal of Borno state, but army sol­diers re­pelled them, gun­ning down six armed in­sur­gents and seven sui­cide bombers, said army spokesman Col. Onyema Nwachukwu. At least 83 peo­ple were in­jured and are re­ceiv­ing med­i­cal at­ten­tion, he said.

Res­i­dents of Maiduguri re­treated to their homes Sun­day night dur­ing an hours-long bat­tle marked by thun­der­ous ex­plo­sions and gun­fire heard un­til the early hours of Mon­day.

Troops pre­vented the in­sur­gents from en­ter­ing the cen­ter of Maiduguri, but they det­o­nated their bombs in the out­ly­ing vil­lages of Bille Shuwa and Alikaranti, with one sol­dier among the 15 ca­su­al­ties, said Nwachukwu.

“Troops are still on the trail of the in­sur­gents,” he said. “It is clear that the rem­nants of the Boko Haram ter­ror­ists are hell bent on re­main­ing rel­e­vant by at­tack­ing soft and vul­ner­a­ble tar­gets and there­fore we call for col­lec­tive vig­i­lance by all se­cu­rity stake­hold­ers and mem­bers of the pub­lic.”

Nwachukwu warned res­i­dents to re­main watch­ful and re­port any sus­pi­cious peo­ple or ac­tiv­ity to se­cu­rity of­fi­cials. A 14-year-old Boko Haram in­sur­gent sur­ren­dered to sol­diers af­ter es­cap­ing an ex­trem­ist en­clave on the Lake Chad is­lands, he said.

Sur­vivors of the at­tack told The As­so­ci­ated Press that most of those killed by the sui­cide bombs were youths at a view­ing cen­ter and were tar­geted when they fled af­ter hear­ing gun­fire be­tween the sol­diers and the Boko Haram fighters.

“The gun­men came with the sui­cide bombers, and as they were en­gaged by sol­diers, some of them sneaked into the con­fused, flee­ing crowd and det­o­nated them­selves killing about 15 peo­ple and over 80 oth­ers,” said Mo­modu Bukar, a mem­ber of a civil­ian de­fense force.

Boko Haram, which was formed in Maiduguri, has killed more than 20,000 peo­ple in its nineyear in­sur­gency to es­tab­lish Shariah law in Nige­ria.

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