(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Suspected Boko Haram militants killed 18 people in northeast Nigeria on Friday, according to local witnesses and officials, the latest in an escalating number of lethal attacks in the region.
The deadly incident took place on Friday, when a group of knife-wielding terrorists launched a stabbing attack against people in Banki, a border town some 130 kilometers southeast of Maiduguri, the capital city of the northeastern state of Borno, said Modu Perobe, a member of the Civilian Joint Task Force, a regional vigilante group.
The death toll was also confirmed by Abor Ali, the leader of a local community.
Boko Haram terrorists often launch deadly assaults against military convoys, unleash members with explosive vests and litter the surrounding roads with mines in the ravaged corner of the country's northeast.
Last month, the Boko Haram militants killed at least 27 people in a number of rural areas in Borno, the epicenter of the eight-year-long conflict with the terror group.
In the past few months, a number of bomb attacks by suspected members of Boko Haram have taken place in the capital of Borno state and its environs. Mosques, markets, camps for those displaced by the conflict in Nigeria and civilians have been targeted across the region.
The terror group has reportedly killed 190 people since June.
In December 2016, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power the year before with a pledge to eradicate Boko Haram, announced that the army had “crushed” the terror group by retaking its last key bastion, deep inside the thick Sambisa Forest in Borno.
The group has, however, resorted to sporadic shooting and bombing attacks in the northeast of the African country, spreading panic among local residents.
Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly terrorist attacks in Nigeria since the beginning of its militancy in 2009, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 20,000 people and made more than 2.7 million others displaced.
The United Nations has warned that around 8.5 million people in the worst affected areas of northeastern Nigeria are now in need of humanitarian assistance.
Back in February 2016, the Lake Chad Basin countries of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria, together with a contingent from Benin, launched a campaign to confront the threat from Boko Haram in the region.