Boko Haram jihadists on Tuesday killed 10 people and injured 21 others with mortar shells in Borno state capital, Maiduguri, local militia and residents told AFP.
The insurgents fired two volleys of explosives on the city, hitting the densely populated Adamkolo and Gwange neighbourhoods, they said.
“We have six dead in Adamkolo and four others in Gwange from the mortar explosions,” militia leader Babakura Kolo told AFP.
“The explosives were fired by Boko Haram terrorists from Kaleri on the outskirts of the city,” he said.
At least 16 people were injured in Gwange and five in Adamkolo, said another militiaman, Umar Ari, who gave the same death toll.
Eyewitness Sama’ila Ibrahim said the jihadists crossed the ditch fortification around Maiduguri into Kaleri, sending residents scrambling for safety with sporadic shooting.
“Luckily they didn’t hit anyone. After shooting more minutes they left towards Boboshe,” he said. Ibrahim said the militants came through Boboshe village, a known Boko Haram enclave.
Boko Haram has repeatedly made incursions into Maiduguri, using heavy guns, rocket-propelled grenades and suicide bombers.
The attacks aimed at overrunning the regional capital have usually been foiled in fierce gun battles with troops. In February last year, Boko Haram fired volleys of rocket-propelled grenades into the city, injuring several people.
Since it began in 2009, the jihadist conflict has killed 36,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in northeast Nigeria, sparking a dire humanitarian crisis in the region.
The violence has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.