by Olatunji Saliu
ABUJA, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Local police in Nigeria on Wednesday confirmed 19 people were killed, including three suicide bombers, in two separate attacks in the country's northeast region.
Eighty-two others were injured in the attacks which occurred Tuesday evening in Konduga, near Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno State, said Damian Chukwu, the state police chief.
According to him, two women bombers and another male bomber carried out the attacks at a busy local market in the area.
He said emergency services had been completed in the area, noting the injured were evacuated to the State Specialists Hospital for treatment.
Local media, however, reported that at least 27 people were killed in the attacks, citing local sources.
Terror group Boko Haram is suspected to have carried out the attacks.
Borno State, located in Nigeria's northeast region, is a flash-point of attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram since 2009 when the group launched its strikes targeting churches, security facilities, schools and villages.
Nigeria on Tuesday launched a special military force to enhance security network against Boko Haram, particularly in the northeast region.
Named "special mobile strike force," the troops deployed from various military units, are expected to bring vigor into the renewed onslaught against Boko Haram, said Ibrahim Attahiru, commander of troops in the theater of operation in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.
Attahiru told reporters in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, that the special military team became necessary as one of the new approaches evolved by the military to end acts of terrorism in the West African country.
According to him, soldiers deployed to the force were exposed to modern terrorism combat techniques to enable them to crush the Boko Haram fighters, deny them freedom of action and finally decimate them.
"This specially selected force with mixed equipment and platforms were deployed to achieve the conduct of long range patrols and ambush deep into the hinterlands," he said.
The Nigerian troops, which aimed to clear unrepentant Boko Haram fighters from the shores of the most populous African country, have been sustaining the tempo in their fight against terrorists.
In the past two months, the Nigerian troops had intensified its campaign against the terrorists, killing and arresting dozens of Boko Haram fighters. A bomb factory in Borno was also destroyed.
Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 and displaced 2.3 million people in its attacks since 2009.