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Suicide attackers leave civilians dead in Nigeria city attacks

Published 18/11/2016

People clear the scene after an explosion in Maiduguri, Nigeria (AP)
People clear the scene after an explosion in Maiduguri, Nigeria (AP)

Suicide bombers have attacked a checkpoint and bustling bus station in a Nigerian city, with four of them killed as well as two civilian defence fighters.

It was the fifth attack in three weeks on the north-east city of Maiduguri, the birthplace of Nigeria's homegrown Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram.

Before 4am local time, police challenged two women and a man running toward the checkpoint opposite the Federal High Court, police commissioner Damian Chukwu said.

One woman detonated an explosion, killing herself and the man. The other woman has been arrested and is being interrogated, he said.

Two more suicide bombers blew themselves up at around 8am at a bus and taxi station on the outskirts of the city, killing themselves and two civilian fighters who combat Boko Haram alongside security forces, Mr Chukwu said.

Boko Haram has recently stepped up attacks after months of lull in the seven-year Islamic uprising that has killed more than 20,000 people.

Security forces have managed to foil most attacks.

On October 29, two women suicide bombers blew up outside a refugee camp, killing five people. The next day, troops shot and killed a suicide bomber as he ran toward the same camp.

On November 1, a car bomb exploded, killing all nine people in the vehicle. Last week, soldiers shot at three female suicide bombers, detonating some explosives and killing all three.

Nigerian troops this year have driven the insurgents out of most towns in the north east.

But now the insurgents are fleeing south into the central-eastern state of Taraba, the state director for Nigeria's secret intelligence agency, Shehu Saulawa, told senators there.

The insurgency has spread across Nigeria's borders, forced some 2.6 million people, mainly farmers, from their homes and created a massive humanitarian crisis in which the United Nations says 14 million people face starvation.

AP

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