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Nigerian forces repel Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri

By JC Finley
Nigerian forces repel Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri
The city of Maiduguri is in northeast Nigeria. Image from CIA World Fact Book

ABUJA, Nigeria, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Nigerian forces have repelled Boko Haram's attack on the town of Maiduguri in Borno State, military spokesman Col. Sani Usman announced Monday.

A government-imposed curfew has also been eased.

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The news of the repelled attack comes a day after Boko Haram laid siege to the city in an attempt to further its ambitions of establishing an Islamic State in Nigeria.

Sunday's attack on Maiduguri had put hundreds of thousands of civilians "at grave risk," observed Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International's Africa director. "One resident told us: 'If Maiduguri is attacked, we have nowhere else to go. Kano Road was the only way out'."

While Nigerian forces were able to repel Boko Haram's attack on Maiduguri, the extremists were able to seize control of nearby Monguno town, also located in Borno State.

Boko Haram began a campaign of terrorism in Nigeria in 2009, attempting to create an Islamic state and to deny Western-style education. Thousands of people have been killed, mostly in northeastern Nigeria since the attacks began. The U.S. Department of State declared Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organization in 2013.

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