11 dead as troops repel Boko Haram suicide bombers in Borno

Rescued workers collect bodies following an attack by Boko Haram suicide bombers at the outskirts of Maiduguri, Nigeria, Friday

Nine suicide bombers and two civilians were killed as Nigerian troops and civilian self-defence fighters repelled an attack by Boko Haram extremists in Maiduguri on Thursday night.

Eyewitnesses said residents awoke to mighty explosions.

Three female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a truck station, detonating vehicles at Muna Garage, according to police Deputy Superintendent Victor Iskukwu.

Two civilians died in the blasts and seven members of civilian JTF were wounded, witness Ayuba Ibrahim told The Associated Press.

“Most of the trucks that were loaded with goods for export to Chad and the border communities were destroyed, along with commodities worth millions of naira,” Ibrahim said.

One blast occurred as people were trying to board the trucks, said resident Isa Mamman.

The attack also targeted a military checkpoint, according to Ahmed Satomi of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency.

Soldiers later fired at gunmen on motorcycles escorting other suicide bombers, killing at least six of the bombers.

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno has donated cash to the seven members of civilian JTF injured in the attack.

Shettima made the donations when he visited them at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri, where they are being treated.

He urged the hospital management to provide proper treatment to the victims to ensure their quick recovery.

Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has confirmed that eight suspected female suicide bombers were involved in the attack.

NEMA spokesman, Sani Datti, stated this in a statement in Maiduguri.

“On Thursday at around 11.00 p.m., suspected Boko Haram members attempted to attack Maiduguri. They came through Mafa- Dikwa road along Muna community,” Datti said.

“The suicide bombers came in a Volkswagen Golf, carrying eight suicide bombers most of whom were female teenagers.

“The driver attempted to overrun the security post where the security personnel were stationed, but few of the security operatives sustained minor injuries.

“A few bombers detonated their explosives around Muna Dalti community, injuring seven local vigilantes -Civilian Joint Task Force.”

Mr. Datti further said that some of the suicide bombers found their way to a place where people gathered with their trucks, loaded with goods, for onward movement to Mafa, Dikwa and Ngala Local Government Areas of the state.

He said that over 14 trucks were burnt by the bombers, adding that the injured were taken to University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, UMTH, for treatment.

He, however, claimed that only the suicide bombers were killed in the attack.