At least 18 people were killed and 84 wounded when Boko Haram jihadists clashed with Nigerian soldiers near Maiduguri overnight, the emergency services agency said Monday.
“So far we have recovered 18 dead bodies from the two villages Bale Shuwa and Bale Kura,” on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Benlo Dambatto, an official from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) told AFP.
Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, is the birthplace of Boko Haram, whose nearly nine-year fight to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has claimed at least 20,000 lives and displaced more than two million people.
“The victims were killed while trying to escape the fight between the insurgents and the military,” said the Borno branch of SEMA.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed the death of three suicide bombers at Muna area of Maiduguri in an attempt to infiltrate the town in Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that four powerful explosions occurred between 9: 00 and 9: 30 pm, sending terrifying echoes to many parts of the town.
NEMA’s Northeast Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Bashir Garga, who confirmed the incident, said that the blast occurred outside the town.
Garga disclosed that the suicide bombers detonated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) strapped to their bodies behind the security trench at Muna Garage area in the outskirts of Maiduguri.
He said that terrifying echoes by the explosions caused some residents of the area to flee which made them to sustain injuries.
Garga added that the wounded were referred to hospital for treatment in Maiduguri.
“Details on the incident is still sketchy. It occurred behind the trenches and only the suicide bombers were killed,” he said, adding that normalcy has been restored to the area.
NAN reports that Muna garage is prone to suicide bomb attacks and the military had imposed a dusk to dawn curfew to secure the area.
Confusion rented the air Monday evening as troops from the Nigerian Army tried to repel an attack by the Boko Haram insurgents on Gulak, the headquarters of Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
The State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Ahmad Sajoh, who disclosed this during an interview with Channels Television said military men, assisted by local vigilance and hunters association, had engaged the terrorists in fierce battle to prevent them from over-running the community.
According to him, many residents are fleeing to hide in bushes, mountains and hills around the town, fearing that the sporadic shooting going on could lead to loss of many lives.
Also commenting on the attack, Chairman of the local government area, Mohammed Yusuf, described the attack as very heavy and that it may likely lead to heavy casualties.
He said the attack came only a day after two male suicide bombers stormed a household in Tsilah village, near Madagali where a woman and her daughter were held hostage.
The duo were later killed when the assailants detonated the bombs strapped to their bodies.
Sajoh informed that the state government was monitoring the situation and would do everything within its powers to protect lives and properties of the people within its jurisdiction.