Defence Headquarters has said late Wednesday’s terror attack on Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, was aimed at slowing down the ongoing assault on Sambisa Forest.
The DHQ stressed that the attack was carried out by the fleeing terrorists who are escaping from their locations that have been routed or destroyed by military troops.
Statement by the Defence spokesman, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade yesterday disclosed that the plot by Boko Haram terrorists to use two female suicide bombers to cause havoc in Maiduguri was foiled by troops who successfully dislodged the terrorists.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that band of terrorists detonated two female suicide bombers ahead of their attack on Ladi Kayamla near Maiduguri late Wednesday, with a plan to follow up with an attack but was swiftly routed by the Nigerian troops in the area.
Olukolade stated: “The attack which was apparently diversionary with the intention of slowing down the ongoing assault on Sambisa Forest is believed to have been carried out by those escaping from the terrorist’s locations that have been routed or destroyed.”
The Army General said that normalcy had been restored as the troops conduct mopping up of the area, even as he assured that the offensive to clear the terrorist’s and their camps from all the Sambisa forest locations would continue.
Meanwhile, 13 persons were killed in one of the attacks, even as other sources claimed three soldiers, six vigilantes and dozens of Boko Haram insurgents had been killed during the clashes.
The assault was the first on Maiduguri for three months and came after sweeping offensives against Boko Haram strongholds by a regional military coalition of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
The army imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew yesterday after the attack.
Streets were deserted and only soldiers and police were seen patrolling. Schools, markets and public buildings, including hospitals, were also closed, an AFP reporter in the city said. Army spokesman Colonel Tanko Gusau said the lock-down was ordered “to protect lives and properties of innocent and law-abiding people of Maiduguri.”
The attack saw dozens of militants armed with heavy guns and rocket-propelled grenades storm the northern outskirts of the city near the Giwa military base. Shots were fired and explosives detonated indiscriminately, locals said. The army said female suicide bombers had detonated explosives before the attack.

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