Suspected Boko Haram militants carried out suicide attacks targeting the University of Maiduguri (Borno state) on the night of Sunday, June 25. The first attack occurred at approximately 22:15 (local time), when a suicide bomber entered a commercial area of the university and detonated his device, injuring three security personnel; one later died of his wounds. A second explosion was reported at 23:00, followed by sustained small arms fire, which lasted much of the night. Two blasts also reportedly occurred at around 04:20. According to media reports, four female suicide bombers carried out another attack on the same night, targeting nearby Zannari (a small community close to the university), in the Gwange district, killing eight people. At least 13 people were reportedly injured in these various attacks.
The university of Maiduguri is regularly targeted by Boko Haram militants; the rear of the university is unprotected and open to an expanse of land, a vulnerability that appears to be regularly exploited by attackers.
Boko Haram has increasingly been using women and teenagers to carry out suicide bomb attacks over the past few years.
The northeastern region of Nigeria is highly susceptible to attacks by Boko Haram, which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) in March 2015 and formally adopted the name of Islamic State in West Africa. Al-Barnaoui, son of Mohammed Yusuf - the founder of Boko Haram - was nominated by IS in August 2016 to replace Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram since 2009. Since then, the two leaders have been leading dissident factions with mixed ambitions, Al-Barnaoui blaming Shekau for massacring civilians rather than focusing on military targets.
Public venues (markets, places of worship, schools, bars, areas where broadcasts of sports competitions are displayed, etc.) as well as security forces and governmental buildings are frequently hit by attacks, suicide bombings (targeted or untargeted), and kidnappings (regularly followed by assassination and targeting primarily foreign nationals).
Historically, Boko Haram activity tends to increase during the month of Ramadan and the Eid-al-Fitr holiday period (end of Ramadan celebration). Further incidents are possible throughout the period of Eid, which is expected to end in Nigeria on the night of Tuesday, June 27.
The security environment in Nigeria is complex and particularly poor in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Some Western governments consequently advise against travel to certain areas of the northeast (e.g. states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Jigawa as well as parts of Kano and Adamawa states) and the southern Niger Delta region (e.g. states of Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers). Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to these areas.
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