MAIDUGURI , Nigeria, An undetermined number of civilians were killed by Boko Haram attacks in Maiduguri, Nigeria, days after the government announced the defeat of the insurgent group.
Defying a ban on vehicle movement in the northeastern Nigerian city of 1.2 million during the Christmas observance, Islamist separatists in three trucks shot at civilians while attempting to enter the city through the suburb of Aladuwari on Sunday evening. As the gun battle proceeded, two female suicide bombersdetonated explosives near an elementary school.
Witnesses also said they saw a rocket launched and striking in the vicinity of a group of people.
The attack was repelled by government troops, but not until a number of casualties occurred.
The largely Muslim city of Maiduguri has been a regular target of Boko Haram forces intent on establishing a caliphate free of western influence, and the Christmas weekend attacks came days before a deadline, imposed by Nigerian PresidentMuhammadu Buhari, to end terrorism by the end of the year.
Lai Mohammad, the country’s information minister, said on Wednesday the military “has so degraded the capability of Boko Haram and that the terrorist group can no longer carry out spectacular attacks,” predicting attacks on civilians would gradually end.
By Ed Adamczyk