Boko Haram militants are suspected of marking 100 days since Nigeria’s election with two bloody attacks that kill 44 people in the Nigerian city of Jos, capital of the Plateau state.
It is 100 days since Nigerians voted Muhammadu Buhari into the Nigerian presidency – when he was later inaugurated he vowed to tackle Boko Haram “head on”.
And while there was no claim of responsibility for Monday’s attacks, they bore the hallmarks of the militant Islamist group whose name means “Western education is forbidden”.
Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency said 23 people died in a suicide bomb attack on a Jos restaurant while 21 died in a shooting and grenade attack at the mosque. Alhassan Muhammad of the agency added that 47 people were injured.
President Buhari was voted into power in the elections at the end of March on the back of his vows to clean up corruption and deal with the threat posed by Boko Haram – which operates largely in the north east of the country.
Inaugurated at the end of May, the president said of Boko Haram: “We are going to tackle them head on … Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted responsibility to us.”
Mr Buhari set up a military command centre in Borno state, Boko Haram’s heartland, and is working with neighbouring countries such as Chad and Niger to create a regional force to tackle the insurgency.
The military has carried out dozens of attacks on Boko Haram since the election, killing at least 170 according to estimates from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Date Project (Acled). It has also claimed to have freed hundreds of girls and women kidnapped by the group.
However, the past month has seen an escalation in Boko Haram attacks.
On Sunday a suicide bomber killed six at a church in Yobe State in Nigeria’s north-east – a bloody end to a week in which the militant group had killed 200 people.
On Tuesday last week Boko Haram shot 50 people dead in Munguno, Borno, on Tuesday, before rounding up an executing 150 people in Kukawa near Lake Chad on Wednesday.
There were other attacks by the group including on the Borno state capital Maidiguri on Friday.