The National Emergency Management Agency has confirmed the death of at least 14 people in three separate suicide bomb attacks in Damaturu, the Yobe Sate capital, Wednesday.
The blasts came after Boko Haram militants this week claimed to have carried out three suicide attacks on the outskirts of the capital, Abuja, last Friday that left 18 dead and 41 injured.
Suspicion will likely fall on the Islamist rebels, who have repeatedly attacked Damaturu during their bloody, six-year insurgency.
NEMA coordinator for Yobe state Bashir Idris Garga said the first blast happened at a small food store at a housing estate, killing four.
Another near a mosque killed one, while nine, including a family, lost their lives when another bomber exploded at a Fulani settlement on the outskirts of the city.
“Total injured 10, seven partially injured and three critically injured,” Garga said in a text message.
Boko Haram has reverted to attacking “soft” civilian targets after last year’s land grab that saw it seize towns and villages across Yobe and neighbouring Borno and Adamawa states.
Furthermore, military confirmed, Wednesday that troops have killed scores of rebel fighters during clashes with troops south of Damaturu.
Army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman said fighters attempted to attack a battalion of soldiers in Goniri, some 60 kilometres by road southeast of Damaturu, in the early hours of Wednesday.
“During the encounter our gallant troops successfully repelled the attacked and inflicted heavy casualty on the invading terrorists as all of them were killed,” he said in a statement.
“On the last count over 100 terrorists bodies were seen.”
Seven soldiers were killed and nine others injured in the fighting, which also saw troops recover arms and ammunition, including primed improvised explosive devices.