Boko Haram kills 10 in Nigeria's restive Maiduguri

Insurgents hit densely populated neighbourhoods of city

A Nigerian soldier stands between the 24 armoured vehicles donated by the United States to the Nigerian military at the Nigerian Army 9th Brigade Parade Ground in Lagos on January 7, 2016. - The U.S. government donated the vehicles to help fight Boko Haram, an extremist group whose six-year insurgency has killed over 17,000 people. (Photo by STEFAN HEUNIS / AFP)

Boko Haram extremists on Tuesday killed 10 people and wounded 21 with mortar shells in Nigeria's volatile city of Maiduguri.

The insurgents fired two volleys of explosives on the city, hitting the densely populated Adamkolo and Gwange neighbourhoods, residents and militias told AFP.

"We have six dead in Adamkolo and four others in Gwange from the mortar explosions," militia leader Babakura Kolo said.

"The explosives were fired by Boko Haram terrorists from Kaleri on the outskirts of the city."

At least 16 people were injured in Gwange and five in Adamkolo, said another militiaman, Umar Ari.

Witness Samaila Ibrahim said the extremists crossed the ditch fortification around Maiduguri into Kaleri, sending residents rushing for safety with sporadic shooting.

"Luckily they didn't hit anyone," Mr Ibrahim said.

He said the militants came through Boboshe village, a known Boko Haram enclave.

Boko Haram has repeatedly made incursions into Maiduguri, using heavy guns, rocket-propelled grenades and suicide bombers.

The attacks aimed at overrunning the regional capital have usually been foiled in fierce gun battles with troops.

In February last year, Boko Haram fired volleys of rocket-propelled grenades into the city, injuring several people.

Since it began in 2009, the conflict has killed 36,000 people and displaced about two million from their homes in north-east Nigeria, sparking a humanitarian crisis in the region.

The violence has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.