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11 dead as Nigerian troops repel Boko Haram suicide bombers

Nigerian troops and civilian fighters have repelled the fiercest Boko Haram extremist attack in months on the key north-eastern city of Maiduguri.

Nine bombers and two civilians were killed, according to witnesses, soldiers and police.

Residents awoke to huge explosions around midnight as three female suicide bombers detonated vehicles at the Muna Garage truck stop on the city's eastern outskirts, according to police.

Muna Garage has been attacked many times in recent months.

Maiduguri is the birthplace of the Islamic insurgency and the headquarters of the military campaign to halt it.

Two civilians died in the blasts and seven self-defence fighters were wounded, witness Ayuba Ibrahim said.

"Most of the trucks that were loaded with goods for export to Chad and the border communities were destroyed, along with commodities worth millions," Mr 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 Borno State Emergency Management Agency.

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

A multinational force of troops from Nigeria and its neighbours last year drove Boko Haram out of towns and villages in north-east Nigeria, but isolated attacks including suicide bombings continue.

The seven-year Islamic uprising has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes, creating the worst humanitarian crisis on the continent with millions facing starvation.



From Belfast Telegraph