At least 80 people were killed on Monday when Boko Haram Islamic extremists struck the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri for the first time in months with rocket-propelled grenades and multiple suicide bombers, witnesses said.
The 80 people killed include 30 in Madagali, a town 150 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri, where a twin suicide bombing took place, witnesses said.
Danladi Buba said two women detonated at a market near a busy bus station at about 9 am Brig Gen Victor Ezugwu, the officer commanding in northeast Adamawa State, confirmed the attack but said casualties have yet to be established.
At least 50 people were killed and the death toll could go higher.
In Maiduguri, capital of neighbouring Borno state, at least 30 were killed and more than 90 wounded in overnight blasts and shootouts, and another 20 died in a bombing outside a mosque at dawn on Monday, said Muhammed Kanar, area coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency.
The military said there were multiple attacks at four southwestern entry points to the city.
In another blast, two girls blew themselves up in Buraburin neighbourhood, killing several people, according to civil servant Yunusa Abdullahi.
The attack appears to be a challenge to President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration last week that Boko Haram has been “technically” defeated, capable of no more than suicide bombings on soft targets.
Maiduguri, the city under attack, is the birthplace of Boko Haram, which emerged as a much more radical entity after Nigerian security forces launched an all-out assault on their compound in the city, killing 700 people in 2009.