Attacks by suspected Boko Harammilitants have left more than 50 people dead and as many as 114 others wounded in the northeastern Nigerian cities of Maiduguri and Madagali in the past 24 hours, according to residents and Nigerian officials.
Three young female suicide bombers detonated explosives — two of them together at a market in Madagali Monday morning, killing 30 people, a local official said, and one at a checkpoint in Maiduguri, where one person died.
Sunday evening in Maiduguri, Nigerian troops battled armed Boko Haram fighters trying to enter the city, fighting that left at least 21 people dead and 91 wounded, according to Mohammed Kanar, head of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The Nigerian troops had spotted a group of armed Boko Haram fighters trying to cross a trench to get into the Jiddari Polo area of Maiduguri and opened fire on them, said Babakura Kolo, a vigilante assisting the military in fighting Boko Haram.
That city has been fortified with trenches to prevent infiltration by Boko Haram.
“Some of the insurgents managed to cross into Jiddari Polo and engaged soldiers in battles with guns and explosives,” said Usman Bala, another vigilante assisting the military.
Resident Madu Goni said the fighting lasted for almost two hours.
“This forced us to abandon our homes in fear,” Goni said.
Hours later, on Monday morning, a teenage female suicide bomber killed one person and wounded seven others in an attack on a checkpoint in the Maiduguri suburb of Kushari, authorities said.
“The suicide bomber blended with the crowd and detonated her explosives,” explained a Kushari resident who wished to remain anonymous for fear of Boko Haram reprisals.
Two other residents corroborated his account.
The later attacks in Madagali, with two young female suicide bombers, left 30 dead and at least 16 wounded, according to a local government official who asked not to be named.
Brig. Gen. Victor Ezugwu, the military chief in Adamawa state, confirmed the twin suicide blasts to reporters but gave no further details.
Adamawa state borders Borno state, a Boko Haram stronghold. The militant group has frequently attacked Madagali and in August 2014 briefly captured the town, forcing residents to flee to the state capital of Yola, 225 kilometers south (140 miles).