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Military Denies Attack On Maiduguri, Arrests 8 Foreigners Over Abuja Blast

The military has dispelled reports of an attack on Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, in the early hours of Saturday.

Director of defence information, Chris Olukolade, a major general, said there was no fighting or attack on the city, around the University of Maduguri or any barrack as reported by some local and foreign media.

Correcting the impression, Olukolade said troops received a distress call at about 2.00 am Saturday morning, informing of an attack in Margimari village and other settlements in the outskirts of Maiduguri and immediately launched a counter attack using mainly mortar shells.

Sadly, he said, four civilians were killed in the attack.

But our correspondent in Maiduguri, reports that there might, indeed, have been an attempt by the insurgents to attack the capital city but that they were successfully repelled by soldiers.

Boko Haram gunmen invaded Malari an outskirts of Maiduguri on Saturday morning killing six persons and setting several houses ablaze including a primary school. They were said to have thrown Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and petrol-bombs on the building.

The incident occurred by 1.30 am in the village which is on Maiduguri- Bama road and about 18 kilometres east of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) campus.

The insurgents were said to have tried to enter Maiduguri but were repelled by troops who engaged them in a gun duel that lasted until dawn, according nonresidents of the university and two estates close to the institution.

In the meantime, Olukolade has also disclosed that some foreigners have been arrested in connection with crimes in various parts of the country.

The army spokesman said a Chadian, Usman Mecheka, operating with the Boko Harm terrorist group around Lake Chad was arrested by the multinational joint task force while trying to extract a ransom from herdsmen and farmers in the area, after an earlier attack on the community.

Similarly, eight persons, most of whom are foreigners, were arrested on Saturday in Abuja and are currently being interrogated after raid operations by security agencies on joint surveillance and patrols mission in the city.

The arrested persons who were picked up around Kugbo and areas adjoining the Nyanya site of the recent bombings in the city, are said to be helping ongoing investigation with useful information.

In addition, troops of the special task force in the Plateau State have also raided a camp maintained by an armed gang operating in a settlement in Shendam local government area.

A gun fabricating machine as well as some arms and ammunition, including local single barrel guns, pistols, an automatic rifle, bullet pellets and a large quantity of materials for producing gun powder, were recovered during the raid.

The raid has equally yielded vital details to track down the operators of the gun fabricating hideout who are now on the run, Olukolade said.

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