By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries and ASSIST News Service, who was born in Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, NIGERIA (ANS – May 31, 2015) — A suicide bomber has killed at least 16 people at a mosque in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, police say. Dozens more were wounded in the attack.
According to the BBC, it follows an overnight assault on the north-eastern city by Boko Haram, in which at least 13 people were killed before troops were able to push back the militants’ advance.
The attacks came hours after Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as new president. He has vowed decisive action against Boko Haram.
In recent years, the militants have killed thousands of people – mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – in its attempt to set up an Islamic state. So far, no group has said it carried out Saturday’s suicide bombing.
The BBC went on to say that late on Friday, Boko Haram fighters fired rocket-propelled grenades into the southern suburbs of Maiduguri for around three hours.
The Nigerian army deployed armored vehicles and fired back, forcing the militants to retreat.
The BBC’s Will Ross in Abuja says that the attack seems to be Boko Haram’s way of showing that they remain a significant threat despite a recent military offensive against them.
In his first speech as president on Friday, Mr. Buhari reiterated his commitment to tackle the group, which he described as a “godless group, who are as far away from Islam as one can think”.
Mr. Buhari, a former military ruler, has taken over from Goodluck Jonathan, who had been in office since 2010.
“Nigeria’s new president has also promised that the government will do everything it can to rescue more than 200 Chibok girls who were captured last year by Boko Haram,” said the BBC.
He is the first opposition figure to win a presidential election in Nigeria since independence in 1960.
Photo captions: 1) President Muhammadu Buhari plans to move Nigeria’s military command center to Maiduguri. 2) The missing Nigerian schoolgirls. 3) Dan Wooding as a baby with his father, Alfred Wooding, in Nigeria.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for nearly 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK.
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