Boko Haram militants attack military base, airport in northern Nigeria

Dec. 2, 2013 at 11:59 AM
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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Several people were killed Monday in northeastern Nigeria after suspected Boko Haram terrorists planted hundreds of explosives in the capital of Borno state.

The terrorists attacked an air force base in Maiduguri and the city's international airport, and placed more than 300 explosives around the city, the Nigerian newspaper Vanguard reported.

A newly constructed trailer park, military check points, and residential and public buildings also were hit in the attacks, which began about 3 a.m.

An official total of the dead and wounded was not yet available, but more than 100 militants were reported killed in military airstrikes.

At least 24 people were reported killed and 15 others injured Saturday as members of Boko Haram sneaked weapons and ammunition into Borno state along its border with Chad, the Lagos-based newspaper The Guardian reported.

The attacks occurred at the village of Madayi, located on Lake Chad about 160 miles north of Maiduguri, and in the town of Sabon Gari, about 70 miles south of the state capital.

Col. Mohammed Dole, a spokesman for the 7th Division of the Nigerian army, said the attacks occurred as militants traveled to hideouts in a game reserve and elsewhere.

"Once the bandits sight villagers crossing the roads, they open fire on them and warn them not to disclose information to the security agents on their hideouts," Dole said.

Militants burned several houses and fishing boats in Madayi, he added. Some 56 homes around Sabon Gari also were torched.

Dole said four separate locations in northern and southern Borno have been identified as terrorist camps. One, on the border with Cameroon, could be difficult to attack, he said, because it extends into the neighboring country.

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