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Boko Haram attacks Nigerian city of Maiduguri

The Islamist group Boko Haram has attacked the city of Maiduguri in northeastern Nigeria. Newly-elected President Buhari will discuss the fight against terrorism on his first official trip abroad to Niger and Chad.

Witnesses from Maiduguri said that a suicide bombing at a market killed as many as 20 people on Tuesday. Earlier on the same day, residents of Maiduguri reported explosions, heavy gunfire and the screech of a jet fighter as Boko Haram militants attacked the city.

These are not the first attacks in the northeastern Nigerian city during the last couple of days. On Saturday, rocket-propelled grenades hit some homes in Maiduguri, killing at least 16 people. Another 17 died later on the same day when a suicide bomber blew himself up among people praying outside a mosque. On Sunday, a bomb at a market wounded at least four people.

Attacks on civilians and bombings are still continuing weeks after the military announced that a multinational offensive had forced Boko Haram from the towns and villages where it had declared an "Islamic caliphate." However, Boko Haram maintained a stronghold in the Sambisa forest reserve in the remote northeast of the African country.

Buhari to visit Niger and Chad

At his inauguration on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari said he would crush the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and move the command center for military operations from Nigeria's capital Abuja to Maiduguri. The capital of Borno state is the birthplace of the terrorist group that killed thousands of people and displaced around 1.5 million over the past six years.

The president's spokesman said on Monday that Buhari's first official trip would take him to neighboring Niger and Chad where he plans to address the fight against Boko Haram. Troops from these countries helped Nigeria to push back the Islamists. However, both Niger and Chad complained about a lack of cooperation from Nigeria's previous administration under Goodluck Jonathan.

das/msh (AP, Reuters)

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