Despite claims by the All Progressives Congress-led federal government that Boko Haram has been crushed and the war against insurgency “technically won”, the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, on Sunday came under heavy attack from the terrorists.
Although soldiers of the Nigerian Army successfully repelled the terrorists, two female suicide bombers succeeded in detonating themselves and killing a yet-to-be ascertained number of people in another crowded part of the city.
The attack, which has been interpreted as a desperate show of relevance by a largely degraded terrorist sect, has however, raised questions on how Boko Haram was able to regroup undetected and stage the coordinated attacks close to the Borno capital.
Sources in Maiduguri disclosed that the attackers attempted to invade the city through a village called Aladuwari, about 2km south of Maiduguri, but were unsuccessful as a result of the gallantry of troops of the 7 Division, Nigeria Army.
However, it seemed the Aladuwari attack was a distraction by the insurgents to enable two female suicide bombers invade the city from another flank.
The two female suicide bombers reportedly invaded the city and detonated themselves at a crowded mini-commercial area.
Muhammed Abubakar, a Vigilante operative who lives in Suleimanti area of Maiduguri, said the bombers detonated themselves near FOMWAN primary school located between Suleimanti and Jiddari Polo.
“As I am talking to you now we are all running for our lives because there is shooting everywhere and corpses and injured persons from the blast were all lying on the ground”, sadi Abubakar.
“They were two explosions: one coming immediately after the other. Those who saw them said they were two women who began to scream as the bombs were about to go off”.
Spokesman of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Abbas Gava, confirmed that the Boko Haram gunmen were making attempt to invade Maiduguri but were intercepted at Aladuwari village, where they exchanged gunfire with soldiers.
“They came in five Hilux vans all armed and ready to invade Maiduguri, but soldiers tackled them effectively and repelled all attacks; but it seems some of them had fled towards Jiddari area. The attack is so close that residents have fled their homes while those far away have all retired to their houses”.