At least three people have been killed and 15 wounded in two bomb attacks linked to Boko Haram terrorists in northeastern Nigeria. The bomb blasts occurred at the Maiduguri university, in the restive Borno state, on 16 January.

Witnesses said the blast at a mosque within staff quarters occurred as worshippers gathered for early morning prayer. The second attack occurred near one of the university's gates, AP reported.

At least one professor is believed to be among the dead.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but responsibility is likely to fall on Boko Haram, which has waged a seven-year-long war against the Nigerian government.

The twin blasts occurred weeks after the army claimed it had stormed Boko Haram's last known stronghold in the Sambisa forest, in Borno.

Following the army's claim, President Muhammadu Buhari said the terrorists were "on the run, and no longer have a place to hide." He added that the recapture of the so-called "Camp Zero" in Sambisa marked the "final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave".

However, the claim was quickly dismissed by Boko Haram's contested leader, Abubakar Shekau, who accused Nigeria of spreading lies.

Boko Haram used to control territories the size of Belgium.

However, Nigeria's ongoing military operation, Lafiya Dole, and a regional offensive – consisting of 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin – have scored some success, with soldiers recapturing key territories and releasing thousands of civilians held captive by the group.

Security analysts have pointed out that declaring a victory over the group is premature, given that Boko Haram is still able to carry out attacks and recruit people.

Experts also warned that underlying issues such as disenfranchisement, poverty and strong links with Islamic State (Isis/Daesh) would continue to pose major threats to stability in the region.


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