Boko Haram kills 'scores' as it descends on Borno's capital

The ruling All Progressives Congress party is posting billboards in Nigeria, trumpeting its effort to defeat the Boko Haram Islamists.

Story highlights

  • A fierce battle with Nigerian troops is underway
  • Residents are reportedly helping the military in the fighting

(CNN)The Nigerian military on Saturday said "scores" were killed when six Boko Haram suicide bombers staged coordinated attacks the day before in a village near Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

Police bomb squads and military explosives experts in the village of Zabamari "are continuing with vigorous search for any bombs that might have been hidden or left unexploded in the area," according to Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade.
Olukolade said "offensive operations" against the Islamist militant group were "continuing in various fronts," including an "additional deployment of men and equipment to enhance the scope of the mission."

    'Boko Haram will be hunted without mercy'

    The suicide bombings were just the latest in a relentless wave of attacks the terror group has carried out this week in the same area.
    A Wednesday raid on the fishing village of Kukawa left 97 people dead, local resident Kawu Aisaye told CNN. The same day, Boko Haram militants stormed two nearby villages and opened fire at a mosque during evening prayers. Local lawmaker Mohammed Tahir told CNN 48 people were killed in that attack.
    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari called the attacks "inhuman and barbaric" and pledged that every last "Boko Haram bandit ... would be hunted down without mercy and compromise."
    "President Buhari considers the murder by the terrorists of up to 150 innocent men, women and children in Kukawa a very heinous atrocity which must be unreservedly condemned by all people of conscience," said spokesman Garba Shehu. "President Buhari urges Muslims in Nigeria and across the world to reject with one voice the attackers' claim to be acting in the name of Islam, and tell the terrorists to stop the abasement of their religion."
    Shehu said Buhari was particularly troubled by "these mindless incidents of violence on innocent people during the month of Ramadan."

    Fierce battle to keep militants out of the capital

    Friday's suicide attacks came the same day as reports of a fierce gun battle between Nigerian troops and Boko Haram on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
    Residents described the mood there as tense, and witnesses told CNN that civilians were assisting the military in an attempt to keep the extremists out of Borno state's capital.
    Borno state is the site of many atrocities by the ISIS-aligned terror group, including the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014.
    Buhari said the multiple assaults this week were the "last desperate acts of fleeing agents of terrorism," according to Shehu. Nevertheless, the new President reiterated his "uncompromising commitment to ending terrorism" in a statement Friday.
    "Make no mistake about it, this government is ever determined to discharge its fundamental duty of protecting the lives of its citizens from the physical threats of any group bent on creating chaos, confusion and destruction of social and economic life."