Boko Haram hits Maiduguri again as Nigeria dismisses IS link

The Nigerian city of Maiduguri came under attack again on Tuesday, just days after Boko Haram bombings killed 58 people, as the government dismissed the militants' link to the Islamic State group.

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 11, 2015, 00:03 AM IST

Kano: The Nigerian city of Maiduguri came under attack again on Tuesday, just days after Boko Haram bombings killed 58 people, as the government dismissed the militants' link to the Islamic State group.

Twin blasts ripped through the northeastern city's crowded Monday Market, which has been repeatedly hit by suicide bombers, including on Saturday, as well as a nearby street.

But there was no immediate word on casualties or the cause of the explosions, as the location was shut down.

The latest attacks came after the government in Abuja described the militants' pledge of allegiance to IS as a sign of weakness in the face of growing military pressure from Nigeria and its allies.

National security spokesman Mike Omeri called it "an act of desperation and comes at a time when Boko Haram is suffering heavy losses".

He added: "Boko Haram is on the way to being eliminated.

"No foreign extremists can or will change this fact -- as long as the Nigerian military continues to receive cooperation and commitment from its citizens and allies.

"There will be no Islamic State in Nigeria, the only state that will exist is the united Federal Republic of Nigeria."

Omeri's tough talk come as Boko Haram is being squeezed out of captured territory in three northeastern states of Nigeria by a regional coalition of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

The armies have claimed a series of successes in recent weeks, with the operation designed to secure and stabilise the northeast so that elections can take place on March 28.