Nigeria President Buhari army
Nigeria's military headquarters will be relocated to Borno state until fight against Boko Haram is overGetty Images

At least 43 people have been killed in attacks carried out by Boko Haram (recently renamed Iswap) just as President Muhammadu Buhari and other regional leaders were holding a meeting about how to deal with the country's terror threat.

Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorists?

Boko Haram fights against Western influence in Nigeria and aims to impose its version of Sharia law on the country. The group declared an Islamic caliphate in Gwoza, along the Cameroon border, in August 2014.

Boko Haram has raided several cities in the north of the country in a bid to take control of more land.

Three states − Adamawa, Borno and Yobe − have been under a state of emergency since May 2013, due to Boko Haram's attacks.

Dozens of rebels on motorcycles stormed Matangale, Buraltima and Dirmanti towns in restive Borno state, firing on villagers and looting and burning homes, residents told AFP.

The attacks were carried out shortly after police said three female suicide bombers died during a failed mission carried out near Maiduguri town, capital of Borno state, the epicentre of the group's deadly insurgency.

The country's president Buhari was meeting with regional leaders on Thursday (11 June) to discuss future military strategies.

He said during the meeting that Nigeria should lead the anti-terror joint offensive and that a proposed six-month rotating command among the five nations could disrupt operations.

Nigeria

Capital: Abuja

Population: 174,507,53 (2013 census)

Largest cities: Lagos, Kano, Abuja

Major ethnic groups: 21% Yoruba, 21% Hausa,
18% Igbo

Languages: English, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba

Religion: 50% Muslim, 40% Christian, 10% other

Currency: Naira (N) 1N = £0.0033; US$0.0050

Buhari was quoted by AFP as saying: "Six months duration as it is being proposed... does not augur well for effectiveness and efficiency. Such a process will undermine, even if it is not intended, the military capacity to sustain the push against the insurgents, who also have the uncanny ability to adapt and rejig their operational strategies.

"I'm inclined on account of the above to suggest to your excellencies... that Nigeria retains the position of the field commander of the MNJTF [Multi-National Joint Task Force] for the period of the war effort."

Earlier in June, Buhari announced that Nigerian military headquarters were relocated from the capital Abguja to Maiduguri. The leader said the headquarters will stay in Maiduguri until the fight against the terrorists is over.