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Deadly violence hits northeast as Nigeria president starts term

Deadly violence hits northeast as Nigeria president starts term

Maiduguri: A deadly suicide bombing inside a mosque and a separate attack by Boko Haram rocked northeast Nigeria's city of Maiduguri on Saturday, a day after President Muhammadu Buhari took office vowing to crush the Islamist group.

The mosque bombing in the Borno state capital by an assailant who pretended to be a worshipper joining afternoon prayers killed at least nine people, witnesses said.

Earlier, the military repelled an overnight attack launched by insurgents who fired rocket-propelled grenades into homes in a bombardment that lasted several hours.

In his inaugural speech after taking the oath of office on Friday, Buhari described Nigeria's Islamist rebels as a "mindless" and "godless" group that would ultimately be destroyed.

He announced plans to reinforce Maiduguri with a new command and control centre to better coordinate the counter-insurgency effort, a move analysts said signalled his commitment to intensifying the fight.

It was not clear if the fresh violence in the strategically crucial city was timed to come the day after the inauguration.

But the new president will likely be tested repeatedly in the coming months by a militant group that has proved resilient over its six-year uprising.

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