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Jihadists kill 10 Nigerian soldiers in ambush: sources

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A vehicle allegedly belonging to the Islamic State group in West Africa (ISWAP) is seen in Baga on August 2, 2019. – Intense fighting between a regional force and the Islamic State group in West Africa (ISWAP) has resulted in dozens of deaths, including at least 25 soldiers and more than 40 jihadists, in northeastern Nigeria. ISWAP broke away from Boko Haram in 2016 in part due to its rejection of indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Last year the group witnessed a reported takeover by more hardline fighters who sidelined its leader and executed his deputy. The IS-affiliate has since July 2018 ratcheted up a campaign of attacks against military targets. (Photo by AUDU MARTE / AFP)

Jihadists have killed 10 Nigerian soldiers in an ambush near the town of Marte in the Lake Chad region, two security sources said Wednesday.

Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) carrying machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades on Tuesday opened fire on a military convoy on a “logistics supply mission”, they said.

“The terrorists killed 10 soldiers, including two officers, in the ambush,” one of the sources, told AFP.

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Eight soldiers were injured, said a second source who gave the same death toll.

The convoy was on its way to deliver food and other supplies to troops in the region when it was attacked, said the sources who asked not to be identified.

The insurgents looted the supplies and set two trucks ablaze before retreating into the bush, they said.

They said the attack could be a reprisal for recent aerial bombings on the group’s camps in the Marte region in which several members, including three commanders, were killed.

ISWAP split from main Boko Haram faction in 2016.

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It has camps in islands on Lake Chad and the marshy area is known to be the group’s bastion.

ISWAP has recently stepped up attacks on military and civilian targets.

On Friday the Islamist militants killed 30 people, including security personnel, when they ambushed the convoy of regional governor Babagana Umara Zulum near Baga, a town on the lake’s shore.

At least 36,000 people have been killed and around two million displaced in the decade-long jihadist conflict in Nigeria’s northeast.

The violence has spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to be formed to fight the insurgents.

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