Posts Tagged ‘Maiduguri’

Nigeria releases 475 Boko Haram suspects for rehabilitation

February 18, 2018

Reuters

ABUJA (Reuters) – A Nigerian court has released 475 people allegedly affiliated with Boko Haram for rehabilitation, the justice ministry said on Sunday, as the country’s biggest legal investigation of the militant Islamist insurgency continues.

The first person convicted for the kidnapping in 2014 of Chibok schoolgirls, sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment last week, was also handed an addition 15-year sentence, to run back-to-back, the justice ministry said in a statement.

More than 20,000 people have been killed and two million forced to flee their homes in northeastern Nigeria since Boko Haram began an insurgency in 2009 aimed at creating an Islamic state.

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Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and his top lieutenants

But humanitarian groups have criticized the Nigerian authorities’ handling of those detained for infringing on the suspects’ rights.

Some of those whose cases were heard last week in a detention center in central Nigeria had been held without trial since 2010, according to the justice ministry statement.

“The prosecution counsel could not charge them (with) any offence due to lack of sufficient evidence against them,” the ministry said.

In October, the ministry said 45 people suspected of Boko Haram links had been convicted and jailed. A further 468 suspects were discharged and 28 suspects were remanded for trial in Abuja or Minna.

Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by Susan Fenton

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Goodluck Jonathan

 (Has links to several previous articles)

Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja, Nigeria August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
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Nigeria: Boko Haram blamed as suicide blasts kill 19

February 18, 2018

Al Jazeera

The attack, which killed at least 19 people, took place at a fish market close to Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria.

Three bombers have killed at least 19 people, as well as themselves, in an attack on a fish market in northeastern Nigeria, according to authorities.

Another 70 people were wounded when the attackers detonated their explosives on Friday evening about 20km from the centre of Maiduguri, in Borno state, police said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the use of suicide bombers in crowded areas is a hallmark of Boko Haram, an armed group waging a violent campaign in the area since 2009.

Babakura Kolo and Musa Ari, from the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) helping Nigeria’s army against Boko Haram, said the bombers were all men.

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Nigerians displaced by Boko Haram barter to survive

“Two of the bombers attacked the Tashan Kifi fish market. Then four minutes later, a third bomber struck nearby,” Kolo was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

“The victims included 18 civilians and one soldier. The Tashan Kifi is an informal market which serves as an eatery, market and also hang-out for residents.”

Ari said 22 of the 70 injured were in a critical condition, adding that there was “no question” Boko Haram was behind the attack.

Borno state is the part of Nigeria that is worst hit by the Boko Haram attacks.

Bombings have continued despite repeated assertions by the government and the military since 2016 to have defeated Boko Haram, which aims to create an Islamic state in Nigeria’s northeast.

President Muhammadu Buhari took office in 2015 with a promise to improve security for ordinary Nigerians.

The conflict with Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people and forced over two million to flee their homes.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Suicide bombers kill at least 19 in northeast Nigeria market attack — How often has the Government of Nigeria Declared Victory over Boko Haram since 2009?

February 17, 2018

AFP

© Stringer/AFP | A man stands with his back to the blood stained scene of three suicide bomb blasts that left 13 people dead in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on October 23, 2017.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-02-17

Three suicide bombers killed 19 people at a fish market in northeast Nigeria, civilian militia leaders said on Saturday, in an attack blamed on Boko Haram jihadists.

 
© AFP | Map locating Konduga in northeast Nigeria, where three suicide attacks were carried out at about 8:30 pm (1930 GMT) on Friday

The blasts happened at about 8:30 pm (1930 GMT) on Friday in Konduga, some 35 kilometres (20 miles) southeast of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.

Babakura Kolo and Musa Ari, from the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) assisting Nigeria’s military against the Islamists, said the bombers were all men.

“We have 19 dead and about 70 others injured… Two of the bombers attacked the Tashan Kifi fish market. Then four minutes later, a third bomber struck nearby,” said Kolo.

“The victims included 18 civilians and one soldier. The Tashan Kifi is an informal market which serves as an eatery, market and also hang-out for residents.”

Ari said 22 of the 70 injured were in a critical condition, adding: “There is no question as to who did it: Boko Haram has targeted Konduga several times.”

There was no immediate comment from the military or the police in Borno state, which has borne the brunt of the violence in Boko Haram’s nearly nine-year insurgency.

At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.6 million others made homeless since 2009. Nigeria’s military and government maintains the group is a spent force.

 

Security forces view the scene of a bomb explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, in a previous Boko Haram attack in this file photo.(Reuters)

But suicide attacks and raids persist, with civilians in hard-to-reach rural areas and outlying towns at risk.

On January 31, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up at Mandarari village, near Konduga.

The blasts happened shortly after another bomber killed four and injured 44 at a displaced persons’ camp in Dalori, 22 kilometres away on the same road to Maiduguri.

A fourth bomber also blew herself up outside the camp.

Related:

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, hat and closeup

Goodluck Jonathan

 (Has links to several previous articles)

Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja, Nigeria August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Nigeria: Boko Haram kills two as military says group ‘defeated’

February 5, 2018

AFP

© AFP/File | Boko Haram has taken scores of women and girls hostage. Many have been rescued, but some remain in captivity

MAIDUGURI (NIGERIA) (AFP) – Boko Haram fighters stormed a village in northeast Nigeria and killed two people, a local resident and a security source said Monday, as the military again maintained the jihadists had been defeated.The attack happened on Sunday evening at Alau-Kofa village, some 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.

“Boko Haram came to our village last night at about 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) firing guns and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades),” Bulama Bukar, who lives in Alau-Kofa, told AFP.

“Two people were burnt alive and the whole village was burnt, along with our food.”

Bukar, whose father was shot in the leg during the attack, said the jihadists “specifically came to steal our cattle” but were forced to abandon the herds when soldiers arrived.

“Last Wednesday they attacked the village, killed three people and took away 50 cattle. And now they came back,” he added.

A security source in Maiduguri, who asked not to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media, confirmed Bukar’s account.

“It is part of the fightback strategy by the terrorists, who are facing mounting pressure from the military,” he said.

Nigeria’s military said last week they had cleared the Sambisa Forest in Borno state of Boko Haram fighters — just over a year after making a similar claim.

– Human shields –

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Major General Nicholas Rogers

Theatre commander Major General Nicholas Rogers was reported as saying in Nigeria’s media on Monday that the Islamic State Group affiliate was “completely defeated”.

But the security source warned against premature triumphalism, despite recent successes.

“Saying they have been completely defeated is pushing it too far,” he said.

“They have indeed been pushed out of Sambisa. They have relocated their camps to Dubur and Yuwe on the rear fringes of Sambisa.”

But the source said troops remained cautious about hunting down Boko Haram factional leader Abubakar Shekau, as he was using hostages as human shields.

They include some of the schoolgirls abducted from the Borno town of Chibok in April 2014 and female police officers seized in an ambush last year.

“They don’t want to harm them, which is why they are limiting aerial offensives,” he added.

In January, troops from Nigeria and its neighbours Cameroon, Chad and Niger got as far as Lagara village, across the river from Shekau’s hideout in Parisu.

But they were forced to abandon the mission because of landmines and the discovery of the human shields, the source added.

Suicide bombers target northeast Nigeria in Boko Haram ‘fight-back’

February 1, 2018

Security forces view the scene of a bomb explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, in a previous Boko Haram attack in this file photo.(Reuters)
KANO: Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in northeast Nigeria, shortly after another bomber killed four at a displaced persons’ camp, an emergency services official said on Thursday.
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The failed mission at Mandarari village, near the town of Konduga in Borno state, and the successful attack just outside the state capital, Maiduguri, both came after ramped-up military action against Boko Haram militants.
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Nigeria’s military announced in late 2016 that it had cleared the jihadists’ Sambisa Forest stronghold but they are said to have since returned.
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The head of the Borno state emergency management agency, Ahmed Satomi, said soldiers and civilian militia intercepted two women at Mandarari at about 9:00 p.m. (2000 GMT) on Wednesday.
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“The women detonated their explosives, killing themselves, having realized they had been uncovered,” he told AFP.
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About 45 minutes earlier, a male suicide bomber scaled a rear fence at the Dalori camp on the outskirts of Maiduguri and blew himself up. As well as the four who died, 44 were injured.
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Shortly afterwards, a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives outside the camp, killing only herself, said Idris Garga, head of Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the northeast.
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Satomi told AFP: “The failed suicide attack (at Mandarari) and the one at Dalori IDP camp are clearly the work of Boko Haram.
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“They are trying to hit back as a result of the pressure the military has exerted on them in the current military operations against them in Sambisa forest.
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“This is why we emphasised the need for people to be vigilant and keep an eye on strange faces coming into their communities as Boko Haram insurgents are trying to attack civilian targets in response to the losses they suffer in the hands of the military.”
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The conflict, which began in 2009, has killed at least 20,000 and left more than 2.6 million others homeless.
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Nigeria’s military and government maintain the Daesh group affiliate is a spent force but there has been little let up in violence.
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The BBC said in data published last week that the group killed at least 967 people in 150 attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger in 2017, up on 2016 when 910 deaths were reported in 127 attacks.

Nigeria: Abducted Chibok girls say ‘we won’t return’ — Terror Group Boko Haram Releases Video — When Tweets and Hashtags Fail To Change The World

January 15, 2018

AFP

© AFP | The mass abduction sparked a global campaign — “Bring Back Our Girls” — to press for their return

KANO (NIGERIA) (AFP) – 

Islamist militants Boko Haram on Monday released a new video purporting to show at least 14 of the schoolgirls abducted from the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok in April 2014.

At least three of the group were seen carrying babies. One of the students said: “We are the Chibok girls… . By the grace of Allah, we will not return to you.”

The 20-minute-long video is the first since May last year when a woman claiming to be one of the 219 schoolgirls was seen holding a gun and also refusing to return to her parents.

It was not clear when or where the latest message was recorded or whether those who appeared on camera were under duress.

But the woman speaking, her face covered by a veil, said they had all been married by Boko Haram factional leader Abubakar Shekau.

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“We live in comfort. He provides us with everything. We lack nothing,” she added.

Shekau is also seen in the video, firing a heavy machine gun and making a 13-minute-long sermon.

The jihadists seized 276 students from the Government Girls Secondary School in the mostly Christian town in Borno state on April 14, 2014, triggering global condemnation.

Fifty-nine of them managed to escape in the hours that followed.

A total of 107 girls have now been either found, rescued or released as part of government negotiations with the Islamic State group affiliate.

On January 4, the Nigerian army said it had rescued one of the girls’ classmates in the remote Pulka region of Borno, near the border with Cameroon.

The Chibok abductees are among thousands of women, girls and boys kidnapped during the conflict, which began in 2009 and has killed at least 20,000 people and displaced more than 2.6 million.

Related:

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, hat and closeup

Goodluck Jonathan

 (Has links to several previous articles)

Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja, Nigeria August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Nigeria, neighbours in joint op against Boko Haram leaders

January 9, 2018

AFP

© BOKO HARAM/AFP / by Aminu ABUBAKAR | Screen grab from a Boko Haram video, released on January 2, showing an attack on a military checkpoint at a village on the outskirts of the northeast city of Maiduguri on December 25
KANO (NIGERIA) (AFP) – Four west African states have launched a major offensive against the Boko Haram jihadist group in Nigeria, the military said on Tuesday.Soldiers from Nigeria and the neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger are targeting a Boko Haram faction led by Abubakar Shekau in the Sambisa Forest, and another led by Mamman Nur, on and around Lake Chad.

Both locations are in Borno state, northeast Nigeria.

According to the Nigerian military, scores of jihadists have been killed and hundreds of others have been forced to surrender in recent days.

Top brass in Abuja have claimed that Nur had been injured and one of his wives killed in an aerial bombardment.

Shekau was “a spent horse, waiting for his Waterloo,” army spokesman Brigadier General Sani Usman said on Monday.

On Tuesday, he said the operation — codenamed “Deep Punch 2” — had been making “tremendous progress”.

But he said four soldiers had “paid the supreme price” and nine others were wounded by a suicide car bomb attack against a military vehicle near Shekau’s camp on Monday.

Separate senior military and civilian militia sources spoken to by AFP gave a higher death toll of 10.

Two Cameroon security sources meanwhile said two of its troops had been killed in the Sambisa Forest, although it was not clear if they were among those mentioned by Usman.

– Repeated attacks –

Boko Haram has been fighting to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria since 2009. The violence has killed at least 20,000 and displaced more than 2.6 million.

In 2015, the four neighbours joined forces with Nigeria’s tiny western neighbour, Benin, to set up a Multi-National Joint Task Force, designed seize back territory lost to the jihadists.

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, a former military general who is expected to seek a second term next year, was elected in 2015 on a promise to defeat the insurgents.

He and military commanders have repeatedly insisted the Islamic State group affiliate is a spent force but regular attacks still occur in the remote region.

The Nur faction, which goes by the name Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), last Friday claimed a late December raid on a Nigerian military base that killed nine soldiers.

Shekau appeared in a new video message last Tuesday and claimed a series of recent attacks in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri and the border towns of Gamboru and Damboa.

– Heavily fortified –

Shekau, Boko Haram’s leader since 2009, pledged allegiance to IS in 2015, just as the military counter-insurgency began to make gains.

But he was enraged in August 2016 when IS gave its backing to the faction led by Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi, the son of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf.

Nur — Shekau’s former right-hand man and the mastermind of the 2011 UN office bombing in Abuja — is seen as the faction’s de-facto leader and Al-Barnawi the figurehead.

The operations against Shekau are concentrated on his hideout in the Parisu area of Borno, according to military and civilian militia sources.

One militia leader said the suicide car bomb attack that killed the troops happened at Lagara village, where soldiers had been forced to stop because of Boko Haram landmines.

“There are mines all over the marshland leading to the Shekau camp, which makes it difficult for troops to get to the camp,” he said.

“Once the soldiers cross the river, they are in Parisu. Shekau is within their grasp this time because he is holed up.”

– Previous escape –

Shekau, whom the authorities have claimed to have killed on a number of occasions, has been surrounded and managed to escape before.

In December 2016, he evaded troops who overran his Camp Zairo enclave in the Sambisa Forest.

The military claims to have liberated the former game reserve but Boko Haram is now said to be back in the camp.

Nur, who is believed to have links with Al-Qaeda affiliates in north Africa, was said to have been injured in an air raid on a militant camp on Tumbin Kare island, on Lake Chad.

He had moved there from his headquarters in Tumbin Gini last week, according to the militia leader.

“Mamman Nur never stayed in one particular location. He moved around the islands under his control to avoid detection,” he added. “He was not lucky this time.”

Security agencies have warned the public about Barnawi/Nur fighters “attempting to melt into other communities” in the northern states of Kano, Yobe and Jigawa.

“The concern is that the terrorists would take cover among the civilian population to wreak havoc,” they said.

by Aminu ABUBAKAR

Boko Haram leader Shekau appears in video amid surge in attacks — casting doubt on the Nigerian government’s claim that the jihadist group is defeated

January 2, 2018

AFP

© BOKO HARAM/AFP | Screengrab taken on January 2, 2018 from a video released the same day by Islamist group Boko Haram shows their leader Abubakar Shekau speaking in his first video message in months

KANO (NIGERIA) (AFP) – 

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video message on Tuesday claiming a series of attacks in northeast Nigeria during the festive season.

The shadowy leader released his first video message in months amid a surge in violence casting doubt on the Nigerian government’s claim that the jihadist group is defeated.

“We are in good health and nothing has happened to us,” said Shekau in the 31-minute video message spoken in the Hausa language common across northern Nigeria.

“Nigerian troops, police and those creating mischief against us can’t do anything against us, and you will gain nothing,” he said.

“We carried out the attacks in Maiduguri, in Gamboru, in Damboa. We carried out all these attacks.”

The video then shows footage from a Christmas Day attack on a military checkpoint in Molai village on the outskirts of the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, which the military said was thwarted by troops after one hour of battle.

Boko Haram fighters in torn clothes were shown shooting from the back of battered pickup trucks.

Shekau’s message comes during an acceleration of Boko Haram attacks and just days after the jihadists killed 25 people outside Maiduguri, the birthplace of the Islamist insurgency.

In December, Boko Haram attacked convoys of Nigerian soldiers and dispatched suicide bombers into crowded markets in towns across northeast Nigeria.

At least 50 people were killed in November when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in Adamawa state.

But Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in his New Year address that Boko Haram has been “beaten”.

“Isolated attacks still occur, but even the best-policed countries cannot prevent determined criminals from committing terrible acts of terror,” said Buhari.

Shekau, a leader known for his lengthy, wild-eyed video messages, took over Boko Haram in 2009 after the death of its founder Muhammad Yusuf.

Boko Haram, whose Islamist insurgency has left at least 20,000 dead in Nigeria since it began in 2009, has long been fractionalised.

In 2016 it suffered a major split, when the so-called Islamic State group recognised Yusuf’s son, Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi, as leader.

Boko Haram kills four loggers in NE Nigeria — Attackers on motorcycles used automatic weapons

December 31, 2017

 

This file photo taken on October 23, 2017 shows a man standing with his back to the blood stained scene of three suicide bomb blasts that left 13 people dead in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria. (AFP)

KANO, Nigeria: Boko Haram fighters opened fire on a group of loggers in a remote village in northeast Nigeria on Saturday, killing four people, a survivor and a militia leader said.

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Gunmen on motorcycles attacked the loggers while they were loading firewood into pickup vans at Maiwa village, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, they said.
The gunmen burned three vehicles laden with firewood heading to the volatile city.
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“Four loggers were shot dead by the Boko Haram gunmen who also burnt three vehicles loaded with firewood,” said Ibrahim Liman, a leader of a militia force fighting the insurgents.
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He said other loggers escaped the assault.
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The attackers, who rode on six motorcycles, struck at the logging site around 4:40 p.m. (1540 GMT), said logger Haruna Dahiru.
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“Sixteen of them (Boko Haram) came on six motorcycles, riding in twos and threes, and opened fire on us without saying a word,” he said.
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“They killed four of our colleagues and set fire to three pickup vans we loaded with firewood to bring to Maiduguri to sell,” he added.
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Boko Haram’s violence has killed over 20,000 people and displaced some 2.6 million since 2009, triggering a dire humanitarian crisis in the region.
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Most of the displaced rely on food handouts from aid agencies while others have turned to felling trees which they sell to buy food.
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The jihadists have increasingly targeted loggers, accusing them of spying and passing information to the military and the local militia fighting them.
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In August Boko Haram fighters decapitated three loggers near Aisa-Wulomari village, 40 kilometers from Maiduguri while returning to the city.
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In April eight loggers were killed and their bodies burnt by the insurgents at Kayamla, 10 kilometers from Maiduguri while collecting firewood in a bush.
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Government troops fended off a second Boko Haram attack Saturday on a military base in Kanamma village in neighboring Yobe state, locals said.
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The Islamists had invaded the base in eight trucks, but were repelled by soldiers in a gunbattle that lasted around two hours.

Nigerian army says it repels suspected Boko Haram militant attack

December 25, 2017

Reuters

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigeria’s army said it had repelled an attack on Monday by suspected Boko Haram militants on the city at the center of the conflict with the Islamist insurgency.

Major General Nicholas Rogers, who heads Nigeria’s military operations against Boko Haram, told Reuters that the situation in Maiduguri, in the northeast of Nigeria, was under control.

He did not give further details.

The government says it is on alert for Boko Haram attacks during the Christmas period and other festivals for Christians and Muslims. Embassies regularly warn their nationals to be cautious and avoid public spaces at those times.

Heavy gunfire was heard in the Molai area on the outskirts of the city on Monday evening, prompting residents to flee the district, two residents and an officer in a local vigilante group had said.

The vigilante commander, who asked not to be identified, said his group had joined the effort to repel the attackers.

There were no immediate reports of casualties nor any immediate claim of responsibility. It was also not immediately possible to identify the target of the assault.

Boko Haram has in the past targeted places of worship during religious celebrations, including attacking churches at Christmas or mosques during Muslim festivals or prayer times.

The last major Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri, a mainly Muslim city with a Christian minority, was in June, when the group launched an assault on the eve of a visit by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has previously said Boko Haram was almost defeated but the latest attack shows the group’s continued ability to stage hit-and-run raids, prompting a renewed government push against the militants.

Image result for President Muhammadu Buhari, nigeria, photos

 President Muhammadu Buhari

The Nigerian government approved the release of $1 billion last week from a state oil fund to help with the fight.

Nigeria’s long-term plan is to corral civilians inside fortified garrison towns, a move that effectively cedes the rural areas to Boko Haram.

Nigeria replaced its previous military commander of the fight against Boko Haram after half a year in the post. Military sources told Reuters this followed a series of “embarrassing” attacks by the militants.

Reporting by Adewale Kolawole and Ahmed Kingimi in Maiduguri, Ola Lanre in Lagos and Ardo Hazzad in Bauchi; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by Andrew Roche and Edmund Blair

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