By Staff Reporter
- Twin car bombs kill 97 in Borno
- Nigeria military raid kills 20
- President Jonathan has failed to curb Boko Haram insurgents
- Boko Haram has intensified attacks lately killing innocent civilians almost weekly
- Boko Haram are protesting against western civilisation in Northern Nigeria
Two bombings in Maiduguri, the main city in Borno state, and a raid on a nearby village by suspected militants killed 97 people, residents said.
Another 20 people were killed when the military launched an air raid on a village, a lawmaker said.
Nigeria’s army is fighting the Islamist group Boko Haram.
President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno and two other states in May, giving the military extra powers to curb the four-year insurgency.
However, Boko Haram has stepped up its violent campaign, with hardly a day going by without reports of a deadly attack by militants, says BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross.
Thousand of people have been killed in the conflict and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.
On Saturday night, suspected Boko Haram fighters reportedly destroyed the entire village of Mainok, about 50km (30 miles) west of Maiduguri.
The militants attacked the village with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and explosives, residents said.
“They started shooting everywhere, they started burning all the houses in the village.
“I don’t think that there is any house that is standing in the village,” an eyewitness said.
Earlier on Saturday, two bombs exploded in a densely populated area of Maiduguri – a city which Boko Haram has often targeted.
The first bomb was concealed inside a truck full of wood. As people tried to rescue victims the second explosion occurred.
At the time many people were crowded in a video hall in the area watching football.
There was also a wedding nearby – many of the dead were children.
Borno state senator Ali Ndume told BBC Hausa that about 20 people, many of them elderly, were killed when the army launched an air raid on Daglun village on Friday night.
However, the defence ministry denied the allegation.
“The reports are believed to be part of the design by those bent on discrediting the counter-terrorist mission,” its spokesman Chris Olukoladehe is quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.
He said government forces had killed a number of Boko Haram fighters in an operation on Sunday evening, including those believed to have killed at least 29 people in an attack on a rural boarding school in Yobe state more than a week ago.
Boko Haram members suspected to have been involved in the bombings in Maiduguri have also been arrested, Mr Olukoladehe said, AFP reports.
Both the Nigerian army and Boko Haram have repeatedly been accused by rights groups of committing atrocities during the conflict in the region.
Boko Haram is fighting to establish a strict Islamic state in northern Nigeria.