At least 11 people were killed on Saturday when Boko Haram gunmen and suicide bombers attacked a suburb of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, police said.
Fifteen people were injured in the attack at and Polo general area.
Witnesses said the attack occurred in the morning as residents were responding to the postponement of today’s general election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The lull in activities following the postponment of the polls limited the spread of news of the attack, with many in Maiduguri only getting to learn of the attack hours later, residents said
Witnesses said four Boko Haram fighters — three with suicide vests on their bodies, and one armed with a rifle — invaded their neighborhood and immediately began to shoot sporadically while the suicide bombers blew themselves up.
In Gwozari, Muslims who went to pray in the morning had to cut short their prayers after hearing the sound of gunfire. But as they made their ways out of the mosque, the gunman shot at them killing two and injuring many.
“One of the suicide bombers tried to enter a mosque where people were observing their morning prayers but before he got closer, most them had started fleeing. So, the gunman opened fire from a distance and killed two people,” said an eyewitness named Habu Aliyu.
The other assailant detonated his suicide vests at a different locations called Kushari where he killed himself and a fleeing child, he said.
The third suicide bomber wondered into Maiduguri neighborhood called Polo where he detonated himself amidst fleeing people. Three persons died in the explosion.
A resident of Polo, who identified himself as Gaji, said “one of the civillian-JTF operàtives was able to shoot the gunman accompanying the two suicide bombers in the leg before a soldier came to shoot the injured gunman dead.”
The Borno state commissioner of police, Damian Chukwu, said the injured were taken taken to the hospital and “clearance operation is currently being carried out at the location by a joint team of Explosive Ordnance Department, the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), the Police Mobile Force, the Civil Defence and the military.”
The attack occurred barely 24 hours after Ahmad Salkida, the Nigerian journalist known for his professional access to Boko Haram, tweeted that about 50 Boko Haram fighters were spotted camping at somewhere behind Maiduguri, called Ajilari-Cross.