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Boko Haram Kills 80 in Nigeria
International

Boko Haram Kills 80 in Nigeria

Boko Haram struck a city and a town in northeastern Nigeria with rocket-propelled grenades and multiple suicide bombers on Monday, killing at least 80 people.

In Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, at least 30 were killed and more than 90 wounded in overnight blasts and shootouts, and another 20 died in a bombing outside a mosque at dawn Monday, said Muhammed Kanar, area coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency.

A twin suicide bombing also killed at least 30 people in Madagali, a town 150 km southeast of Maiduguri, witnesses said. Danladi Buba said two women blew themselves up at a market near a busy bus station at about 9 a.m., AP reported.

In another blast, two girls blew themselves up in the Buraburin neighborhood, killing several people, according to civil servant Yunusa Abdullahi.

The attacks appear to be a challenge to President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration last week that Nigerian security forces have “technically won the war” against Boko Haram and that it is now capable of no more than suicide bombings on soft targets.

Maiduguri, with a population of about 1 million people, now hosts almost as many refugees—among the 2.5 million people driven from their homes in the six-year-old uprising. About 20,000 people have been killed in Nigeria and hundreds others elsewhere, as the insurgents have carried their conflict across its borders into Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

Maiduguri is the birthplace of Boko Haram, which emerged as a much more radical entity after Nigerian security forces launched an all-out assault on their compound in the city, killing 700 people in 2009.

Acting on information provided by a captured insurgent, Nigerian troops “intercepted and destroyed” 13 suicide bombers and arrested one female suicide bomber, Maj. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, the commander prosecuting Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram, told reporters.

A nurse at Maiduguri Specialist Hospital said dozens of critically wounded, mainly children and women, may not survive. A doctor at the hospital later said four of the wounded have died and the number of injured has risen to about 100. They spoke on condition of anonymity.

It was hard to do a body count because so many had been blown into pieces, she said, describing torsos and dismembered arms and legs.

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