ISWAP claims killing 17 fleeing Nigerian troops
Islamic State Sunday claimed its fighters killed 17 Nigeria soldiers in an attack in Borno State on Friday.
The terrorists group via its Amaq news agency said the troops were killed in an attack on a military post near Buni Yadi.
The attack was carried with six IEDs, ISWAP claimed. It also claimed it stole seven SUVs belonging to the military.
The statement says the troops were fleeing the base before the attack and while retreating towards Buratai.
The Nigerian army authorities are yet to confirm the report.
In a attempt to re-strategise Nigerian soldiers have left many towns in the northest region withdrawing to “super camps” that can be more easily defended against insurgents. Some security experts have expressed concerns that the areas vacated are being filled by insurgents, leaving civilians vulnerable.
The surge in attacks by the ISWAP raise questions about Nigerian government assertions that it has defeated the insurgents.
In July, Nigerian government claimed Boko Haram’s 10-year-old insurgency had been “defeated” but admitted that international jihadists posed a growing threat.
“The position of the Nigerian government is that the Boko Haram terrorism has been degraded and defeated,” President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement in July.
“The real Boko Haram we know is defeated,” the presidency said.
Shehu said the country was now facing “a mixture” of Boko Haram remnants, criminal groups and jihadists from the Maghreb and West Africa fuelled by turmoil in Libya and the collapse of the Islamic State caliphate in the Middle East.
The over 10 years reign of the Boko Haram has killed more than 30,000 people and displaced about 2 million people.