Death toll in Boko Haram jihadists attack on Maiduguri has risen to 16, including nine children who were playing football in a field.
“The death toll has risen to 16,” Babakura Kolo, the leader of a self-defence militia, told AFP.
But Borno Governor, Babagana ZulumOfficials confirmed 10 killed.
In one of the neighbourhoods affected, Gwange, nine boys were killed when one of the explosives landed in a field where they were playing football, Kolo said.
“Initially four died but five more died from the serious injuries they sustained from the explosion.” Another militiaman, Umar Ari, gave the same death toll and said it could still rise as many were injured.
Eyewitness Sama’ila Ibrahim said the jihadists crossed the ditch fortification around Maiduguri, sending residents scrambling for safety with sporadic shooting.
Ibrahim said the militants came through Boboshe village, a known Boko Haram enclave.
Governor Zulum, who visited some of the hospitals tending to patients from the attack said 60 people were injured.
He directed that they should be given free medical treatment when he visited the victims in Maiduguri Specialists Hospital and University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.
“Indeed it is a very sad moment for the people and government of Borno, more than 60 persons were affected, among them, 10 have died.
“It was as a result of long distance shots fired by the insurgents. I believe this is a new trend we have to raise up and stop it. We experienced a similar incident in July 2020.
“The solution is to deploy an appropriate form of technology. I share the pains of all those affected,” Zulum said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Maiduguri residents who fled their homes over the attacks are returning to their homes.
The insurgents fired several mortar bombs into Maiduguri from farmland in the outskirts of the town hitting some areas such as Gwange, Kaleri and Adam-Kolo on Tuesday evening.
Soldiers repelled the attack by suspected to be from Boko Haram insurgents, resulting in explosions from artillery shooting and assault rifles in Maiduguri.
The explosion created panic among the residents of Gwange, Layin Bori, Adam Kolo and Kaleri suburbs of Maiduguri, where residents reported casualties and injuries.
Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, has pledged to ensure that the armed forces of Nigeria upscale its operations to ensure adequate protection of critical national assets across the country.
Irabor made the pledge during a meeting with the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, at he Defence Headquarters on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the meeting was held to discuss the security challenges being encountered in the execution of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas pipeline project.
He said that DHQ and NNPC had long standing engagement with respect to the protection of critical national infrastructure such as oil and gas assets of the NNPC.