Boko Haram launches RPG attack on Maiduguri

Kano, Nigeria (CNN)Nigeria may have a new president, but one thing hasn’t changed: Widespread violence, much of it blamed on Boko Haram.

Twenty-six people were killed and 28 injured Saturday afternoon in a suicide bomb attack inside a mosque in Maiduguri, the capital and largest city of Borno state, Aderemi Opadokun, the Borno State Police Commissioner told CNN.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred while worshipers were inside the mosque.

The attack came one day after Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as the West African nation’s president.

Earlier Saturday, the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram launched a rocket-propelled grenade attack on Maiduguri.

    According to residents and military sources, the assault damaged to at least five homes and killed 13 people began just after midnight and lasted about three hours.

    Hassan Buba, a local leader, said of the grenade attack: “Boko Haram kept shelling the area with RPGs, … Many people were also injured.”

    Malam Yusuf says his wife is one of them, in the hospital after one of her feet was blown off after their home in Maiduguri’s Dala neighborhood was hit before dawn.

    “It was deafening explosions all over, as volleys of RPGS were fired by Boko Haram from outside the city,” Yusuf said by phone.

    Two Nigerian military officers accused the extreme Islamist group of resorting to indiscriminate RPG attacks — which pose as much, if not more, danger to civilians as anyone else — because troops had repelled their attempts to enter and capture the capital city.

    “It was an (act) of desperation,” said one of the officers, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media. “… The attacks were ultimately neutralized, and the terrorists forced to retreat.”

    The assault came one day after two explosions ripped through a wedding ceremony in the Borno state village of Alade, about 140 miles (230 kilometers) from Maiduguri.

    Seven wedding guests died and 30 others were injured in blasts at the start of the ceremony, said local leader Aisami Babagoni, who added that he suspects the explosives were planted ahead of time and “remotely detonated.”

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    Its name translates to “Western education is sin” in the Hausa language, but Boko Haram is hardly an education reform or advocacy group. It is a terrorist organization, according to the U.S. State Department – one that’s shown little restraint against civilians and official authorities alike in a quest to impose its extreme version of Sharia law over an expansive territory.

    Residents of Borno state and other parts of northeastern Nigeria know this all too well. For years they have dealt with Boko Haram assaults, bombings, abductions and mass kidnappings — the most infamous being the taking of more than 200 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in 2014.

    Chad and Niger have stepped up their efforts in recent months going after the militant group in areas that border those nations. Still, Boko Haram is mostly Nigeria’s problem. Combating this insurgency is one of the main challenges facing Buhari, who took over from Goodluck Jonathan in the first peaceful transfer of power between Nigeria’s rival parties since the end of military rule in 1999. Another is dealing with lingering fuel shortages, a paradox for one of the world’s largest oil producers.

    “Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns,” Buhari said in his inauguration address Friday. “We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us.”

    A video of Abubakar Shekau, who claims to be the leader of the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, is shown in September 2013. Boko Haram is an lt;a href=quot;;gt;Islamist militant group waging a campaign of violencelt;/agt; in northern Nigeria. The groups ambitions range from the stricter enforcement of Sharia law to the total destruction of the Nigerian state and its government. Click through to see recent bloody incidents in this strife-torn West African nation:graphic warning - multiple imagesBodies lie in the streets in Maiduguri, Nigeria, after religious clashes on July 31, 2009. Boko Haram exploded onto the national scene in 2009 when lt;a href=quot;;gt;700 people were killed lt;/agt;in widespread clashes across the north between the group and the Nigerian military. An official displays burned equipment inside a prison in Bauchi, Nigeria, on September 9, 2010, after the prison was attacked by suspected members of Boko Haram two days earlier. About lt;a href=quot;;gt;720 inmates escapedlt;/agt; during the prison break, and police suspect the prison was attacked because it was holding 80 members of the sect.Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, second from left, stands on the back of a vehicle after being lt;a href=quot;;gt;sworn-in as President lt;/agt;during a ceremony in the capital of Abuja on May 29, 2011. In December 2011, Jonathan declared a lt;a href=quot;;gt;state of emergencylt;/agt; in parts of the country afflicted by violence from Boko Haram.Rescue workers help a wounded person from a U.N. building in Abuja, Nigeria, on August 26, 2011. The building was rocked by a bomb that killed at least 23 people, leaving others trapped and causing heavy damage. Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for the attack in which a Honda packed with explosives lt;a href=quot;;gt;rammed into the U.N. buildinglt;/agt;, shattering windows and setting the place afire. A photo taken on November 6, 2011, shows state police headquarters burned by a series of attacks that targeted police stations, mosques and churches in Damaturu, Nigeria, on November 4, 2011. Attackers left scores injured -- lt;a href=quot;;gt;probably more than 100lt;/agt; -- in a three-hour rampage, and 63 people died.Men look at the wreckage of a car after a bomb blast at St. Theresa Catholic Church outside Abuja on December 25, 2011. A string of bombs struck churches in five Nigerian cities,lt;a href=quot;;gt; leaving dozens dead and wounded on the Christmas holidaylt;/agt;, authorities and witnesses said. Boko Harams targets included police outposts and churches as well as places associated with quot;Western influence.quot;A paramedic helps a young man as he leaves a hospital in the northern Nigerian city of Kano on January 21, 2012. A spate of bombings and shootings left more than 200 people dead in Nigerias second-largest city. Three days later, a joint military task force in Nigeria lt;a href=quot;;gt;arrested 158 suspected memberslt;/agt; of Boko Haram.A photo taken on June 18, 2012, shows a car vandalized after three church bombings and retaliatory attacks in northern Nigeria killed at least 50 people and injured more than 130 others, the Nigerian Red Cross Society said. lt;a href=quot;;gt;A French family kidnappedlt;/agt; February 19, 2013, in northern Cameroon is lt;a href=quot;;gt;released after two months in captivitylt;/agt; in Nigeria. The family of four children, their parents and an uncle were kidnapped in Waza National Park in northern Cameroon, situated near the border with Nigeria. One of the captive men read a statement demanding that Nigeria and Cameroon free jailed members of Boko Haram.A soldier stands in front of a damaged wall and the body of a prison officer killed during an attack on a prison in the northeastern Nigerian town of Bama on May 7, 2013. Two soldiers were killed lt;a href=quot;;gt;during coordinated attacks on multiple targetslt;/agt;. Nigerias military said more than 100 Boko Haram militants carried out the attack. A deserted student hostel is shown on August 6, 2013, after gunmenlt;a href=quot;;gt; stormed a school in Yobe statelt;/agt;, killing 20 students and a teacher, state media reported.A photograph made available by the Nigerian army on August 13, 2013, shows improvised explosive devices, bomb-making materials and detonators seized from a Boko Haram hideout. Gunmen attacked a lt;a href=quot;;gt;mosque in Nigeria with automatic weaponslt;/agt; on August 11, 2013, killing at least 44 people.Nigerian students from Jos Polytechnic walk on campus in Jos, Nigeria, on September 30, 2013. Under the cover of darkness, lt;a href=quot;;gt;gunmen approached a college dormitory lt;/agt;in a rural Nigerian town and opened fire on students who were sleeping. At least 40 students died, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.Soldiers stand outside the 79 Composite Group Air Force base that was attacked earlier in Maiduguri on December 2,;a href=quot;;gt; Hundreds of Boko Haram militants attackedlt;/agt; an Air Force base and a military checkpoint, according to government;a href=quot;;gt;Catholic priest Georges Vandenbeuschlt;/agt; speaks to reporters outside Paris after his release on January 1, 2014. Vandenbeusch was snatched from his parish church in Cameroon on November 13. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for kidnapping the priest.A man receives treatment at Konduga specialist hospital after a gruesome attack on January 26, 2014. It was suspected that Boko Haram militants opened fire on a village market and lt;a href=quot;;gt;torched homes in the village of Kawuri,lt;/agt; killing at least 45 people.Police officers stand guard in front of the burned remains of homes and businesses in the village of Konduga on February 12, 2014. Suspected Boko Haram militantslt;a href=quot;;gt; torched houses in the village,lt;/agt; killing at least 23 people, according to the governor of Borno state on February 11.Yobe state Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam, left, looks at the bodies of students inside an ambulance outside a mosque in Damaturu. At least 29 students died in an lt;a href=quot;;gt;attack on a federal college lt;/agt;in Buni Yadi, near the capital of Yobe state, Nigerias military said on February 26, 2014. Authorities suspect Boko Haram carried out the assault in which several buildings were also torched.Rescue workers try to put out a fire after a bomb exploded at the busiest roundabout near the crowded Monday Market in Maiduguri on July 1, 2014.Police in riot gear block a route in Abuja on October 14, 2014, during a demonstration calling on the Nigerian government to rescue schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. In April, more than lt;a href=quot;;gt;200 girls were abductedlt;/agt; from their boarding school in northeastern Nigeria, officials and witnesses said.boko haram screengrab abubakar shekaugraphic warning - multiple images01 boko haram RESTRICTED02 boko haram RESTRICTED03 boko haram RESTRICTED04 boko haram 05 boko haram 06 boko haram 08 boko haram 09 boko haram 10 boko haram RESTRICTED11 boko haram 12 boko haram 13 boko haram RESTRICTED14 boko haram RESTRICTED15 boko haram 16 boko haram RESTRICTED17 boko haram RESTRICTED18 boka haram 19 boko haram RESTRICTED01 boko haram 101701 nigeria protests 1017

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