ISWAP Claims Killing Of Two Nigerian Soldiers
By Timileyin Omilana
Two Nigerian soldiers were killed in clashes with Islamic State in West African Province fighters in Yobe State, the terror group claimed through its news agency AMAQ on Saturday. The jihadist organisation said the attack on the soldiers took place in Boni Yadi on Friday. It said it also seized armoured vehicles.
The Nigerian army authorities are yet to confirm the attacks. ISWAP has carried out a string of attacks in Nigeria in recent months contrary to the Nigerian government claims that its troops have degraded the insurgent group. On Thursday the group claimed it killed 10 Nigeria soldiers in an attack in Borno State on Wednesday.
Citing security sources and residents, AFP reported that ISWAP fighters attacked Gajiram on both Wednesday and Thursday, killing three soldiers and a police officer. The insurgents first attacked the town on Wednesday, forcing troops and police officers to withdraw, according to the residents.
They drove into the town around 4 p.m., “firing indiscriminately,” Gajiram resident Abdu Goni said. “They burnt down the police station and took away four military vehicles and another one belonging to the police,” Goni said.
ISWAP fighters returned at 1 a.m. on Thursday morning in nine all-terrain trucks fitted with machine guns and engaged troops and police officers in a gun battle, AFP reported. Goni said the militants “killed three soldiers and a policeman without harming any civilians” when they returned on Thursday, adding that another military pickup truck was seized in the second attack.
The jihadist group known as Boko Haram began its bloody insurgency in northeastern Nigeria in 2009, but it has since spread into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military response.
Boko Haram split into two factions in mid-2016. One, led by long-time leader Abubakar Shekau, is notorious for suicide bombings and indiscriminate killings of civilians. Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in March 2015, but ISIS central only gives formal backing to the other faction, which it calls Islamic State West Africa Province.
The U.S. assesses that Boko Haram and ISWAP have been responsible for more than 35,000 deaths since 2011. More than two million people have been displaced, sparking a dire humanitarian crisis in the region.