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Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Nigeria's Maiduguri in darkness after another jihadist attack

Residents in the city of three million people reported a new power outage had occurred before dawn Saturday, but did not know immediately it had been caused by a new attack

AP , Sunday 28 Mar 2021
Nigeria
FILE Photo: Soldiers pictured in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on 19 September 2019.AFP
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The northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri has been thrown into darkness anew after jihadists blew up electricity towers just days after power was restored, officials and residents said.

Residents in the city of three million people reported a new power outage had occurred before dawn Saturday, but did not know immediately it had been caused by a new attack.

However, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) reported Sunday that there had been a new incident of sabotage.

Electricity was on Wednesday restored to Maiduguri for the first time in two months following sabotage of a power grid by Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) jihadists.

'Again, two towers along Maiduguri-Damaturu line have been vandalised,' TCN said in a tweet on Sudnday.

'At around 5:56 am insurgents bombed tower 152 and 153 on Damaturu Maiduguri 330 KVA line, causing another power outage,' a power company official added in a message to AFP.

Residents of Maiduguri are concerned about the impact on their livelihoods and water supplies as the TCN said it will work hard to restore power.

'Electricity went out early in the morning and I thought it was the usual power outage and power would be supplied later, only to hear it was another attack,' said Bukar Musa, a welder in the city.

'This is indeed bad news for me, my happiness over power supply resumption has been shortlived,' said Musa whose welding business has been crippled by the two-month outage.

'I have been looking forward restarting my workshop which has been closed since January 26,' said Musa who turned to menial jobs to eke out a living.

Grema Umar, an ice-block vendor, said he was happy he could resume his trade but that hope has been dashed by the second blackout.

'It is a disaster for us to be left without power and our means of living, especially in this hot season when people would require ice blocks for cold drinks,' said Umar.

ISWAP militants in late January blew up power lines outside the city, disrupting social and economic life of its three-million inhabitants.

It was the third time in a month that ISWAP would throw the entire city into darkness by blowing up transmission lines.

ISWAP and rival jihadist group Boko Haram are notorious for blowing up telecom and power infrastructure in the northeast.

The jihadist conflict which began in 2009 has killed 36,000 people and displaced around two million.

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