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Military 'repels' Boko Haram attempt to overrun key city

Security - Nigeria's Defence headquarters Friday confirmed attacks on the northern city of Maiduguri, saying it was an attempt by suspected Boko Haram insurgents to overrun a military detention facility in the capital of Borno, the sect's spiritual base.


Defence spokesperson, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said in a statement that the attack on the military detention facility had been “successfully repelled with heavy human casualty on the terrorists”.

Olukolade said though the total number of insurgents killed in the military counter-attack is not yet available, many of them were killed and many captured along with their weapons.

He confirmed that four soldiers who were wounded were being treated while there are “hot pursuits by land and air operations are on-going along with cordon and search of surrounding localities”.

“Pockets of terrorists apparently in a move to boost their depleted stock of fighters this morning attacked a military location in Maiduguri with a view to freeing their colleagues who are being held in detention,' the military spokesman said, adding that no institution has been reported attacked, although the effect of firing from the encounter could be noticed in surrounding facilities in Maiduguri.

He expressed the belief that the attack is in response to the intensity of attacks on the insurgents' strongholds in camps at Talala, Monguzum, Sambisa forests, Gwoza, Mandara mountains as well as the general area of Lake Chad. 

Olukolade said the camps have been destroyed and many insurgents killed.

Maiduguri was rocked by loud explosions early Friday, followed by gun shots that triggered confusion across the city.

Pana 16/03/2014