Bomb blast greets new president
MAIDUGURI, (AP) -- A bomb yesterday afternoon near Maiduguri's main market, after the city was attacked before dawn by Islamic extremists using rocket-propelled grenades that killed at least 13 people.
The explosion was by the mosque near the marketplace of Maiduguri, the largest city in Nigeria's troubled northeast.
The early morning grenade attack was a new tactic by Boko Haram in the extremist group's birthplace.
Yesterday's attacks came less than 24 hours after Nigeria's new president was sworn in and pledged to tackle Boko Haram "head on".
Muhammadu Buhari's new administration won a signal of support from the United States, which indicated it was prepared to increase military aid.
The inauguration turned into a nationwide celebration by Nigerians welcoming their country's newly reinforced democracy after Buhari became the first candidate to defeat a sitting president at the polls since the end of military rule in 1999.
With dancing and the release of white doves symbolising peace, Nigerians hailed the handover of power in an African nation marked by superlatives: the most populous nation, the biggest oil producer, the largest economy.
Nigeria also confronts the most deadly conflict on the continent -- the insurgency by Boko Haram that has killed more than 13,000 people and driven more than 1.5 million from their homes.