14 March 2014

Nigeria: Maiduguri Under Siege, Bombs, Gunfire Spreading

Photo: Premium Times
Maiduguri attack

Suspected members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect this morning launched a daring attack on Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Sources said the assailants sneaked into Maiduguri and divided themselves into groups, some headed towards the Giwa Barracks, some stormed the University of Maiduguri, some waylaid Fouri-a thriving settlement of elites and locals while hundreds of others stormed parts of the new GRA.

"They set many houses on fire in Fouri and killed innocent people... I escaped by the grace of God," Jamila Yusuf, a married woman told our correspondent by phone.

"I saw dead bodies and many people with gunshots. The gunmen came to our area in droves, they wore flowing gowns and brandished guns, chanting 'Allahu Akbar' as they set houses on fire," she said.

The suprised morning attack shook unsuspecting residents who had started celebrating the return of peace in the state capital following the recent raid at the Sambisa Forest by combined forces that led to the killing of hundreds of insurgents and sacking of training camps.

A fighter jet was also seen hovering around the Giwa Barracks.

Multiple sounds of exploding bombs that started sround 7.04am are still roaring even as many families have fled their homes.

"There is thick smoke billowing. The assailants are hurling explosives into the Giwa Barracks and the multitude of soldiers inside the barracks are firing back," Hamisu Musa, who leaves not far from the barracks said.

"At present, thick smoke is billowing from the direction of the barrack...no one can tell whether the attackers have entered the barrack or not but fighting is ongoing," he said.

The 21 Brigade Giwa Barracks is the lifewire of the military in Borno State before the establishment of the 7 Division Of the Nigerian Army.

Details are sketchy but sources said the terrorists, in their hundreds stormed Maiduguri through the River Ngadda which the feeds the Alo Dam.

There is pondemonium in the city as many parents have dropped their children in school.

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