Boko Haram launches another attack

By Drum Digital
25 January 2015

No information on casualty figures was immediately available.

The Islamist group Boko Haram has attacked Maiduguri, a north-eastern state capital of 1.2 million people, Nigeria's Defence Ministry said Sunday.

The army and air force were repelling the simultaneous attack on the capital of Borno state and the nearby city of Monguno, an important transport junction, the ministry said on Twitter.

The fighting began Saturday night after hundreds of militants tried to invade Maiduguri, security officials were quoted as saying by the Premium Times newspaper.

Fighter jets and helicopters were seen over the city Sunday, and a curfew was imposed on Maiduguri, the Defence Ministry said.

Resident Mamman Tijjani said by telephone that locals have remained in their houses since morning prayers, which was when news of the attack began to spread.

"We have all decided to remain indoors, he said. "That means we are leaving the streets to the soldiers."

Most businesses in the city were closed, media reports said.

Capturing the metropolis would be a huge victory for the terrorist group, which is seeking to establish an Islamist state and impose sharia law in north-eastern Nigeria.

An attack last year on Maiduguri failed.

The Sunni fundamentalist militants killed thousands of Nigerians in attacks last year. This month, it attacked the north-eastern town of Baga as part of a large offensive in the region and killed hundreds of people. Tens of thousands fled their homes.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet later Sunday in Lagos with President Goodluck Jonathan. He plans to press for a violence-free February 14 presidential election. Kerry is also to meet Jonathan's challenger, former military chief Muhammadu Buhari.

Source: Sapa

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