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Boko Haram Stages New Assault on Maiduguri

by VOA News June 02, 2015

Boko Haram militants have again attacked the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, which is slated to be the new base of government operations aimed at crushing the group.

Reports from the city said fighters used rocket-propelled grenades in Tuesday's attack but were unable to advance beyond the city limits.

Later, a suicide bomber attacked a cattle market in Maiduguri. Initial reports said up to 20 people died in the explosion.

During his inauguration speech Friday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said the military headquarters for the war against Boko Haram will move from the capital, Abuja, to Maiduguri, which is located at the center of the insurgency.

Tuesday's attack was the third Boko Haram assault on the northeastern city since Buhari took office.

Attack Saturday

On Saturday the Islamist militant group launched an attack on the city that killed at least 26 people.

Maiduguri is the largest city in restive northeastern Nigeria, with a population of 2 million, among them hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Also Tuesday, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou said a multinational force to fight Boko Haram will become operational in a couple of weeks.

Troops from Niger, Chad and Cameroon have been helping Nigeria fight the militant group, which has staged attacks in all three neighboring countries.

Niger's president spoke after meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris. Issoufou did not say who would lead the multinational force or where it would be based.

More than 1.5 million Nigerians have been displaced by the nearly six-year-old Islamist uprising in Nigeria's northeast, which has left an estimated 13,000 people dead.

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