More than a dozen people lost their lives near the city of Maiduguri in Borno state of north-eastern Nigeria on Sunday, April 1. The victims included villagers who reportedly found themselves caught in clashes between suspected members of Islamist militant group of Boko Haram and soldiers. At least 68 were also injured in the attack, reported Reuters.
According to military sources that spoke to AFP, 18 militants launched an attack on two villages and a military base with mortars, gunmen and suicide bombers. The attack saw several villagers running for their lives many of whom got caught in the cross fires between the militants and the military.
Sunday's attack was the biggest since the Nigerian government revealed that it was in talk with the militants.
A local militia leader Ba'Kura Abba Ali supporting the military said the militants were trying to enter Maiduguri which is at the centre of the epicentre, according to AFP.
Eighteen bodies were recovered from the two villages that were attacked, Borno's State Emergency Management Agency informed, the AFP added. It was not clear however whether all the deceased were villagers or were extremists and soldiers as well.
Ever since the Boko Haram started its campaign of violence to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria in 2009, it has killed some 20,000 people and displaced over two million.
The Nigerian government said in March that it was in talks with the Boko Haram though it was confirmed whether it was engaging with all the factions of the group which got split a couple of years ago.