Boko Haram

Nigeria’s Maiduguri shaken by Boko Haram blasts

mLt Col Sagir Musa told the BBC the multiple attacks targeted locations used by the joint military task force in the city, the Islamists’ base.He said three militants had died but denied reports that at least 10 people, including soldiers, were killed.

Witnesses say a primary school and a radio tower were set ablaze. Last month the group, which wants to impose Sharia across Nigeria, attacked mobile phone masts across the north of the country – accusing mobile phone companies of helping security agencies to monitor its members. Earlier in October witnesses said soldiers shot dead up to 30 civilians after a bomb attack on an army patrol in Maiduguri – accusations the army denied.

City residents say the latest trouble began on Monday afternoon when gunmen robbed a market.There are also reports that a gunman shot dead a traffic warden in the city close to a military checkpoint.Explosions then began to be heard at around 18:00 local time (17:00 GMT) – some residents say there were up to 15 blasts, the last one the loudest which shook the city.

Reports said soldiers sealed off nearly every street in the city centre when the attacks began and continued after dark. Some residents were unable to get home overnight. Lt Col Musa said no civilians were killed or injured.”There are no casualties, except that a soldier is wounded and that three terrorists were killed and four of them were arrested,” he told the BBC’s Newsday programme.  The BBC’s Abdullahi Kaura in northern Nigeria says journalists face difficulties confirming casualties when covering such attacks as the authorities always try to downplay the situation.

In the incident earlier this month, soldiers in Maiduguri reportedly opened fire on a busy street after a bomb attack killed an army officer.Shops and homes were also torched, witnesses said.The army denied killing civilians although correspondents say it offered contradictory explanations about what had happened. Attacks in central and northern Nigeria blamed on Boko Haram have killed1,400 people since 2010. 

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