By Ibrahim Imam, Kaduna.
The military authorities said it has repelled simultaneous attacks on Monguno and Maiduguri by the Boko Haram insurgents in on Sunday, even as it imposed a curfew in its efforts to control areas under attacks.
Joint military efforts involving ground troops, air strikes and local vigilantes were mobilised to ward off the jihadists from penetrating Maiduguri city, with much of the fighting taking place around a barracks.
Army spokesman, Gen. Chris Olukolade said announced a “curfew in Maiduguri as troops battle simultaneous Boko Haram attacks on Borno.
“Curfew is imposed on Maiduguri with immediate effect till further notice as pursuit of retreating terrorists begin,” the defence authorities said in its twitter handle.
“Troops are repelling a simultaneous attack on Monguno and Maiduguri by terrorists. Coordinated Air and Land OPs being conducted,” it said.
The Boko Haram fighters, it was gathered, attacked the strategically important city of Maiduguri, at the wee hour of Saturday in a prolonged battle that reportedly left dozens of their members and some soldiers dead.
Earlier on Sunday the insurgents reportedly captured the north-eastern town of Monguno, after the soldiers there retreated.
Report added that the capital city is currently under search by troops in its efforts to apprehend members of the insurgents now on the run.
There are fears that with the insurgents gaining ground, Maiduguri is increasingly at risk.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, arrived in Nigeria Sunday for consultations ahead of the February 14 Presidential elections.
Kerry, the first American high ranking official to visit Nigeria since 2012, called for peaceful elections next month, stressing the need Nigeria to set “a new standard.”
Sources also told News Investigators that Mr Kerry is in Nigeria to show solidarity in the fight against Boko Haram, which has increased its attacks in recent days.
The people in Maiduguri woke up to the sound of explosions and heavy gunfire as Boko Haram launched a pre-dawn attack on this strategic city.
The Amnesty International has warned that hundreds of thousands of civilians are now “at grave risk”.