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Maiduguri residents living in fear after Boko Haram's biggest assault in 18 months

Maiduguri residents living in fear after Boko Haram's biggest assault in 18 months

Nigeria

Just days after Boko Haram insurgents launched their biggest attack on the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, residents are now living in fear.

On such person is John Abana who rushed back home to be with his wife and one month old baby. He had gone to buy petrol for his generator when the attack happened.

He says Wednesday’s attack took the village by surprise. Sentiments echoed by another resident.

“I went out for shopping and when I was coming back home from the market I couldnt even enter my house because my family had started running. I met them on the road, then I myself started running because Boko Haram had taken over and were burning houses,” said Dolo Bukar.

The raid took place six months after President Buhari said Boko Haram had “technically” been defeated by a military campaign that had pushed many insurgents deep into the remote Sambisa forest, near the border with Cameroon.

Police said that 14 people were killed before government troops beat back the raid.

The attack happened on the eve of a visit by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo to displaced people in Maiduguri.

“Their bravery and their can-do attitude has broken the back of this vicious insurgency and by the grace of God, in the very near future, we shall eliminate this menace once and for all,” he said.

Osinbajo launched a government food aid initiative to distribute 30,000 metric tonnes of grains to people displaced by the insurgency.

The government food programme launched by Osinbajo seeks to distribute grains to 1.8 million people delivered quarterly, his office said in an emailed statement.

World Food Programme (WFP) has had to scale back plans for emergency feeding of 400,000 people in the region due to funding shortfalls.

The attack was Boko Haram biggest assault on Maiduguri in 18 months.

At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.6 million made homeless in northeast Nigeria since the start of Boko Haram’s armed campaign in 2009.

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