At least 15 people have been killed after Boko Haram Takfiri militants carried out gun and bombing attacks in a key city in northeastern Nigeria, reports say.
The militants attacked Jiddari Polo, an area located on the outskirts of Borno State’s capital, Maiduguri, on Sunday evening.
Locals who were attending prayers at a mosque in the area said they heard the sound of gunfire and artillery rounds following evening prayers.
Residents also started to flee their homes to other areas in the city after the attacks, according to reports.
The death toll from the attacks is expected to rise.
“We have to wait until the morning to have a good picture of the aftermath of the clash, because it happened in the dark,” said Babakura Kolo, a civilian assisting the Nigerian military.
The attacks, which were the first to be carried out in Maiduguri in recent months, ended after the Nigerian military responded with artillery fire. The terrorist group has been trying to regain control over Maiduguri, which is the group’s birthplace.
On Christmas day, Boko Haram militants also killed at least 14 people after storming Kimba village in Borno.
The recent attacks come days before Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s self-imposed deadline to uproot the militants expires on December 31.
Meanwhile, in comments issued on Wednesday days before the expiry of the deadline, Buhari said that Nigeria has “technically” won the war against Boko Haram,
At least 20,000 people have lost their lives and over 2.5 million become homeless since the beginning of the Boko Haram militancy in Nigeria in 2009.
The group has expanded its attacks to neighboring African countries including Chad, Niger and Cameroon.