Sixteen persons were killed during an attempt by
Boko Haram insurgents to invade Maiduguri, the
Borno State capital, on Friday night.
Seventeen persons were injured in the attack that left many houses destroyed. The attack occurred a few hours after the inauguration of President
Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Friday.
An online source also reported that a bomb exploded Saturday afternoon near Maiduguri’s main market,
after the city was attacked before dawn by the
insurgents using rocket-propelled grenades that
killed at least 13 people. The explosion, it was
gathered, occurred by the mosque near a market in
One of our correspondents learnt that one of the
insurgents joined the worshippers pretending to be
one of them. The insurgent later detonated the bomb
which killed some of the worshippers and injured
In a swift reaction, Buhari, on Saturday condemned
the latest attacks on the town.
In a statement issued by the head of his media team,
Garba Shehu, the President warned that his
administration would not tolerate wanton and willful
destruction of lives by criminal elements bent on
He stated that his administration meant business in
its determination to tackle terrorism with all the
resources available to his government.
Describing terrorists as cowardly murderers that
target innocent people, Buhari declared that as the
Commander-in-Chief, he had sworn to protect the
security of Nigerians everywhere.
The President while calling for increased vigilance by local communities, assured that his administration
would give security close attention, pledging that his
government was committed to boosting the morale
of the armed forces by effectively funding them and
attending to their welfare.
He condoled with the families of the victims of the
latest terrorist attacks on the town and assured them
that the worst days of the criminal elements would
soon be over.
SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that the residents of the
town were woken from their sleep as sounds of
heavy gunshots and explosions rocked the town.
A member of the youth vigilance group, who spoke
on the condition of anonymity to our correspondent
on the phone, said that the insurgents tried to invade
the town at about 12:50am on Saturday from Ajilari
Cross and Bintu Sugar axis of the town.
He said the military were able to discover them on
time and repelled them before they could further
approach the town.
According to him, the engagement lasted for about
two hours between 12:50am and 2:50am.
He added, “The insurgents were successfully repelled
after heavy gunshots and explosions. They fled back
into the dark towards the direction they came.”
He, however, said he could not ascertain the number
of the casualties.
A resident of Gomari in the town which is in the same
neighbourhood with Bintu Sugar, Abdul Idi, said five
residents of the area were killed in the attack.
Idi said a stray bullet killed a man who slept outside
in the open to get fresh air.
He also stated that four people were killed in a house
affected by the explosion in the area.
According to Idi, eight other people died of stray
bullets and explosives in some areas in the town.
Meanwhile, a security source who spoke with one of
our correspondents on the condition of anonymity
on Saturday, said the insurgents fired rocket-
propelled grenades and detonated bombs in the
The source said that the fighter pilots of the Nigerian
Air Force were deployed to bomb the insurgents and
were able to dismantle them for ground troops to
take over the area.
It was further gathered that several of the residents
of the Airport Road axis of Maiduguri fled their
communities in fear for safer places in the
The source stated further that the troops were in
control of the area and were intensifying a cordon
and search operation designed to fish out and arrest
the fleeing insurgents.
The source said, ‘‘Fighter jets were deployed to
scatter them for ground troops to move in to take
control of the area. As for casualty, I cannot give you
any figure because the insurgents fired at buildings
and killed some people; the military also got some of
All efforts to get across to the Director, Defence
Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, to comment
on the development were futile as calls to his mobile
phone did not connect.
Also, Olukolade had not responded to a text message
sent to his phone as of the time of filing this report.