MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Oct 16, (Agencies): At least 36 people have been killed in multiple suicide attacks in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state at a mosque and a residential building, police and medical sources said on Friday. Three female bombers blew themselves up and killed four others in nearby Umarari early Friday, he added. Locals, however, said the death toll was higher from both incidents and that more than 60 may have been killed in total.
Both areas are on the outskirts of the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, which has been increasingly targeted by coordinated bomb and suicide attacks in recent weeks. The attacks came just days after Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said he was “fully confident” of ending the six-year insurgency by the end of this year.
The military was “well-positioned to meet the December deadline which they have been given”, he said in a statement on Wednesday. But with Maiduguri having been attacked four times this month alone, fresh questions will be asked about security in the city, where Boko Haram, which is allied to the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, was founded in 2002. One area of the city, Ajilari Cross, has been hit three times in a month, killing more than 120.
There have also been suicide attacks near the capital, Abuja. Overall, some 1,350 people have been killed since Buhari came to power at the end of May, according to an AFP tally. Buhari said on Wednesday that Boko Haram’s “ability to attack, seize, ravage and hold any Nigerian territory will have been completely obliterated” by December.
This week, he met the head of the US Africa Command, General David Rodriguez, as Washington announced the deployment of up to 300 military personnel to northern Cameroon.