A man takes a picture of a crater after an explosion of one of two vehicles laden with explosives in Ajilari-Gomari near the city's airport, in Maiduguri March 2, 2014. At least 10 people were killed after a bomb went off at around 6 p.m. (1700 GMT) on Saturday in a busy market area in Ajilari-Gomari, in Maiduguri, witnesses and a police source said, in a region where the Islamist sect Boko Haram is pursuing a bloody insurgency. The final death toll was likely to be higher because dozens of people were trapped in the rubble, the witnesses said. REUTERS/Stringer (NIGERIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTR3FWOD
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Jihadists’ rocket-propelled grenades on Maiduguri: Death toll now 16

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Boko Haram jihadists have attacked Maiduguri, Borno State capital, killing 16 people, including nine children as death toll rises.

The children were playing football in a field before they met their untimely deaths.

No fewer than 10 people were killed and 47 were injured in Tuesday’s attack when jihadists fired rocket-propelled grenades on the densely-populated city.

Boko Haram had previously made incursions into Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, using heavy guns and suicide bombers.

“The death toll has risen to 16,” Babakura Kolo, the leader of a self-defence militia, disclosed.

In one of the neighbourhoods affected, Gwange, nine boys were killed when one of the explosives landed in a field where they were playing football, Kolo said.

“Initially four died but five more died from the serious injuries they sustained from the explosion.”

Another militiaman, Umar Ari, gave the same death toll and said it could still rise as many were injured.

A witness, Sama’ila Ibrahim, said the jihadists crossed the ditch fortification around Maiduguri, sending residents scrambling for safety with sporadic shooting.

Ibrahim said the militants came through Boboshe village, a known Boko Haram enclave.

Attacks by the group aimed at overrunning the regional capital are usually foiled in fierce gun battles with Nigerian troops.

In February 2020, Boko Haram had fired volleys of explosives into the city, injuring several people.

Since the insurgency began in 2009, the jihadist conflict has killed about 36,000 people and displaced more than two million people from their homes in the region.

The violence has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.

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