Jihadists kill five soldiers in attack on military outpost in Nigeria’s northeast

Kano
– Jihadists have killed five soldiers in an attack on a military outpost in
restive northeast Nigeria, army sources said on Thursday.

Fighters from the Islamic State
West Africa Province (ISWAP in several trucks opened fire on troops at a
checkpoint outside the town of Mainok in Borno state on Wednesday, they said.

“We lost five soldiers in
the surprise attack on the checkpoint,” a military officer, who did not
want to be named, told AFP.

Troops from the town intercepted
the militants, leading to a gunfight in which “some of the
terrorists” were killed and two vehicles fitted with machine guns were
recovered, he said.

Another military source said the
five soldiers manning the checkpoint were “outgunned” by the
insurgents.

The jihadists were said to have
taken three military vehicles away.

The army said late on Wednesday
its troops killed nine “Boko Haram terrorists” in an ambush, outside
Mainok.

Decade-long jihadist conflict

Spokesperson Sagir Musa said two
soldiers were “slightly wounded” in the encounter, without mentioning
any fatalities from troops.

Mainok, which lies along the 120km
highway linking Maiduguri and Damaturu, the capital of neighbouring Yobe state,
is an ISWAP stronghold.

The area has seen an upsurge in
abductions of civilians, prompting increased military deployments to confront
the insurgents.

ISWAP, which split from Boko
Haram in 2016, has intensified attacks against the military since the middle of
2018.

In January, 22 soldiers were
killed in three separate ISWAP attacks in the area, according to military
sources.

The decade-long jihadist conflict
has killed 36 000 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.

Jihadists kill five soldiers in attack on military outpost in Nigeria's northeast