Seven Nigerian troops killed after attack

AFP Kano, Nigeria Jan 22, 2020, 06.00 PM(IST)

Seven Nigerian troops killed in jihadist attack Photograph:( Reuters )

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The assailants are suspected members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

Seven soldiers were killed on Tuesday when Islamic State-affiliated militants attacked a military position in northeastern Nigeria, two military sources stated.

Fighters in several trucks fitted with machine guns attacked a military position in Mainok village, 56 kilometres (35 miles) from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, they said on Wednesday

"We lost seven men in the attack by the terrorists. Two soldiers went missing and five soldiers were injured," the first source said. The second source confirmed the toll, adding that the jihadists destroyed two military gun trucks and three anti-aircraft machine guns. Borno state police spokesman Edet Okon said in a statement that four gun trucks, including two seized from the army in the attack, had been recovered.

Also Read: Deadliest attack on Nigerian military, 71 dead

Nigeria Police
[ Nigerian Police officer (Courtesy: AFP) ]

The assailants are suspected members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a group that split from Boko Haram in 2016 and has stepped attacks against the military since mid-2018.

The group has increasingly been abducting motorists at bogus checkpoints in Borno state, targeting security personnel, anti-jihadist militia and Christians.

Mainok lies along the 120-km highway linking Maiduguri and Damaturu, the capital of neighbouring Yobe state. The village has suffered a rise in jihadist abductions, prompting increased military deployments. Last week Wednesday four soldiers were killed and seven injured when ISWAP militants attacked troops in Auno village along the same highway, days after 11 troops were killed in nearby Jakana village.

The decade-long conflict has killed 35,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in northeast Nigeria. The violence has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.