Boko Haram attacks leave 53 dead in pre-election show of force

2018-11-20 21:10
Nigeria ( iStock)

Nigeria ( iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Boko Haram jihadists have killed 53 soldiers and farmers in three days of attacks in northeastern Nigeria, security sources said on Tuesday, in a new show of force ahead of February elections in the West African country.

Despite the government's insistence that Boko Haram is near defeat, the group has recently carried out a string of major attacks on military and civilian targets.

President Muhammadu Buhari, seeking re-election in February, faces widespread criticism over his security record as soldiers based in the northeast regularly complain of fatigue and insufficient supplies of food and arms.

The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a Boko Haram splinter group, killed at least 44 soldiers in attacks on three military bases at the weekend, according to security sources.

Of those, at least 43 were killed on Sunday in Metele, a remote village near the border with Niger, according to a military officer who requested anonymity.

"Our troops were completely routed and the terrorists captured the base after heavy fighting," he told AFP, adding that the base commander and three officers were among the dead.

A search was under way for survivors or further victims in the surrounding bush, he said.

A pro-government militiaman said the jihadists arrived on around 20 trucks and army air support did not arrive until after they had "invaded the base and looted the weapons".

The same day, jihadists also launched a pre-dawn attack on a base in the town of Gajiram, some 80km north of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.

Fighting lasted several hours, local residents told AFP.

And a soldier was killed in an attack Saturday on a base in Mainok, also in Borno state, the cradle of the Boko Haram movement, security sources said.

 Villages also attacked 

ISWAP asserted responsibility for the attacks in Metele and Mainok, claiming to have killed at least 42 soldiers in addition to carting away four tanks and other vehicles, according to the SITE Intelligence monitoring group.

In addition, Monday saw the latest in a string of attacks on villages, usually carried out to pillage food and abduct civilians used as fighters or forced to marry jihadists.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

The jihadists have accused farmers and loggers of passing information to the military.

Armed with guns and machetes, jihadists killed nine farmers and abducted 12 others in the Mammanti village in Borno state, locals told AFP on Tuesday.

The jihadists came on bicycles, said Usman Kaka, a farmer who escaped. "They just opened fire on us and continued to fire as we fled," Kaka said.

Village chief Muhammad Mammanti said the assailants had hacked "three people who resisted being abducted".

Also on Monday, seven women were snatched while working in fields near the city of Bama, according to militiamen fighting alongside army soldiers.

In an attack on Mammanti last week, jihadists stole hundreds of heads of cattle.

The surge in attacks on military targets suggests that hardliners within ISWAP have taken the upper hand after internal divisions, observers say.

More than 27 000 people have died since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2009, and 1.8 million remain homeless.

Read more on:    isis  |  boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.