KONFRONTASI - At least 18 people have been killed and over 80 others wounded after suspected Boko Haram terrorists staged several attacks in Nigeria’s restive northeast.
Officials said Monday that the militant forces had attacked a military base in the city of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, and two surrounding villages overnight.
A gun battle broke out after the militants attacked the base with bombs, mortars and guns, a senior military officer in Maiduguri said on condition of anonymity.
Seven bombers also targeted residents of nearby Bale Shuwar and Alikaranti villages, the source added.
“So far we have recovered 18 dead bodies from the two villages,” Benlo Dambatto, an official from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) told AFP. “The victims were killed while trying to escape the fight between the insurgents and the military.”
Just last week, the government announced that it is in talks with the Daesh-affiliated militant group with the aim of securing a permanent ceasefire.
The government has not disclosed which elements of Boko Haram it is in discussions with, and neither was it clear which faction carried out Sunday’s attack.
Since 2009, Boko Haram militancy has left at least 20,000 dead and made over 2.6 million others homeless. The group pledged allegiance to the Takfiri Daesh group in 2015.
Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates as “Western education is forbidden,” has used kidnapping as a weapon of war, seizing thousands of women and young girls as well as men and young boys.
The United Nations warned late last year that areas affected by Boko Haram militancy face humanitarian crisis.
Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states in northeast Nigeria are the three states most affected by the Boko Haram militancy.[ptv]