By Dotun Ibiwoye
Boko Haram, in a new video, has claimed responsibility for the attack on Maiduguri on Wednesday night that killed at least 15 people.
It was the first major assault on the city in 18 months.
“We have killed those we can and have left with the bounties of war we are displaying now,” said a voice on a video released by Boko Haram on Saturday, showing the group’s fighters among piles of ammunition and other supplies.
“We are hale and hearty, contrary to claims that we have been killed,” the voice said.
The Boko Haram fighters attacked Maiduguri’s suburbs with anti-aircraft guns and several suicide bombers, a police official said on Thursday. The three bombers sent into the city self-destructed.
The video showed what appear to be Boko Haram fighters moving through the bush with guns and vehicles mounted with heavy weaponry, as well as shots of them holding security passes and other Nigerian military supplies.
“God has enriched us with the arms and ammunition on display, and we shall deploy such weapons we seized against you… the war is still ongoing,” said the video.
“As you look for us in the bush, we shall hunt you in the cities… There is no dialogue between us, only fire for fire.”
The video also showed a man who appears to be Abubakar Shekau, leader of one of two branches of the jihadist group, standing in front of fighters and weaponised vehicles and speaking Arabic, though the Nigerian military has repeatedly claimed to have killed him.
More than 20,000 people have been killed in Boko Haram’s campaign to establish a caliphate in the Lake Chad basin. A further 2.7 million have been displaced, creating one of the world’s largest humanitarian emergencies.