Boko Haram attacks northeast Nigeria''s main city: Witnesses
Islamist insurgents attacked the outskirts of northeast Nigeria`s main city Maiduguri on Sunday, engaging in a gun battle with soldiers that killed at least eight people, witnesses and a security source said.
Maiduguri: Islamist insurgents attacked the outskirts of northeast Nigeria`s main city Maiduguri on Sunday, engaging in a gun battle with soldiers that killed at least eight people, witnesses and a security source said.
Militant group Boko Haram has killed thousands since it launched its revolt in Maiduguri five years ago and wants the city to become the capital of a separate Islamist state.
"There is heavy gunfire going on. Everybody is panicking and trying to flee the area," said Idris Abubakar, a resident of Polo on the western outskirts of the city.
Growing violence by the insurgents is a major headache for President Goodluck Jonathan who faces elections on Feb. 14 that analysts say are too close to call.
Capturing Maiduguri would be a huge victory for Boko Haram, which currently controls mostly rural areas along the Cameroon and Chad borders that together make up a territory the size of Belgium.
Resident Babagana Lawan said a grenade fell on his house, killing his brother and two factory workers living with him.
A security source confirmed the attack had occurred, but said troops had been mobilised to try to repel the insurgents.
A hospital source said eight bodies had been brought in from the fighting.
Boko Haram has become the main security threat to the stability of Africa`s biggest economy and top oil producer, and increasingly threatens its neighbours.