At least 17 people were killed and more than 60 injured in an attack in the northeast city of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, on Tuesday.
Armed men, suspected to be members of the Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’way Wa’l-Jihād (JAS), fired rocket-propelled grenades into the densely populated areas of Gwange, Adam Kolo and Kaleri. The Giwa Barracks also came under fire.
Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, residents blamed the JAS, also known a Boko Haram.
The BBC reported that it was the worst attack of its kind in Maiduguri – the birthplace of the JAS – in a year.
One of the grenades hit a children’s playground but it was not clear if any of the children were among the casualties.
Many of the terrified residents fled their homes. They began to return on Wednesday. Alhaji Babakura Alhaji Sanda, a witness, said he was at the Adam Kolo Mosque where they gather every day to pray.
“A rocket-propelled grenade landed just after 6pm killing adhan Ba‘a Shettima, who calls the people to pray. I lost my two brothers Musa Alhaji Sanda and Alhaji Bako and many of my friends were seriously injured,” he said.
Aisha Usman from Gwange said she was at home reading when the attack started. “Our house shook, we were terrified. My uncle and his friends are at the State Specialist Hospital. We are praying they will recover.”
Borno State governor Babagana Umara Zulum condemned the attack. He sent condolences to the families of the dead and visited two hospitals on Wednesday to speak to some of the victims.
He promised to give his full support to the military to enable them to defeat the enemy and stop the insurgency.