At least 15 people were killed when Boko Haram suicide bombers attacked a village on the outskirts of the north-east Nigerian city of Maiduguri. According to witnesses, a village chief, 10 of his children and others were killed in the attack.
The militants launched grenades after entering Maiduguri's Dawari village in three trucks. Soon, suicide bombers detonated explosives as soldiers tried to force them to retreat. The 27 December attack was the first in months in Maiduguri.
PR Nigeria that releases government statements said that 10 suicide bombers were "intercepted and destroyed". "The troops laid ambush on the terrorists' suspected routes.... The suicide bombers were intercepted in three different locations approaching the city," the military was quoted as saying.
An eyewitness named Bulama Isa said that when the fight broke out, a woman ran into a nearby neighbourhood yelling "Boko Haram, Boko Haram". When people gathered near her, she blew herself up. As fighting continued, a second suicide bomber detonated herself, Isa added.
On 25 December, the terror group killed 14 people in Kimba village in north-eastern Borno state. "The gunmen killed 14 people and burnt the whole village before they fled," Mustapha Karimbe, a civilian assisting the military in fighting Boko Haram, told Agency France-Presse.
The attacks come days after Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said the army would wipe out Boko Haram in December. The president added that only a small fraction of the group was left in Borno state.
He added that "Boko Haram has reverted to using improvised explosive devices" as they had been forced to scale back on suicide bombings as a direct result of military action. "Boko Haram is an organised fighting force, I assure you, [but] we have dealt with them," Buhari had said.