Alleged Boko Haram terrorists attacked a village near Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri Sunday night, killing 21 people and injuring 91 others, local media reported. Hours later, an improvised explosive device reportedly detonated near a mosque.
On Sunday, militants fired indiscriminately from three trucks in the village of Dawari on the outskirts of Maiduguri — the birthplace of Boko Haram. Even as government troops engaged them, a woman ran into the area yelling “Boko Haram, Boko Haram,” and detonated herself, according to a Guardian report citing the village head, Bulama Isa.
Nigerian troops “intercepted and destroyed” 10 suicide bombers and repelled the attackers, according to PR Nigeria, an agency that releases government news.
A soldier who spoke anonymously told Associated Press that many civilians were also caught in the crossfire Sunday night.
A nurse and a guard at Maiduguri Specialist Hospital said at least 20 bodies arrived overnight and dozens of critically wounded, mainly children and women, were also brought in. As many as 60 people had wounds from bullets and shrapnel, the nurse said.
The guard at the hospital said he counted about 70 people who arrived overnight, most of them lifeless.
The night raids were followed by an explosion Monday morning in Maiduguri, as people queued to offer morning prayers at a city mosque. According to a police officer who spoke to Nigerian news website Premium Times, the victims had gathered to investigate a suspicious package presumably left during Sunday night’s attack.
The attacks come days after Boko Haram militants, riding bicycles, raided Kimba village in Borno state on Christmas Day, killing 14 residents and torching their homes.
According to President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria has “technically defeated” Boko Haram. However, the two deadly attacks in less than three days have cast doubts as Buhari’s self-imposed deadline to stamp out the group expires on Dec. 31.