Two soldiers killed in mine blast in NE Nigeria: sources

2018-12-16 09:39
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Two Nigerian soldiers were killed on Saturday in a roadside mine explosion in the restive northeast near the border with Cameroon as troops repelled a jihadist attack on a base in the region, military sources said.

A military convoy on patrol near the town of Gamboru in Borno state hit a mine planted by Boko Haram, killing two soldiers and injuring one other, according to two military sources who asked not to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

"Around 0715 GMT our men on patrol between Logomani and Gamboru encountered an IED (improvised explosive device) buried along the road which killed one soldier and injured another," the first officer said.

"A platoon from Forward Operation Base in Logomani hit a mine along the Gamboru road," said the second officer.

"Two soldiers died and one was injured," he said.

A faction loyal to long-time Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is known to operate in the area.

Boko Haram jihadists have targeted troops on patrol by planting mines on their path.

In October two Nigerian soldiers were killed and a dozen others wounded in two separate mine explosions targeting military patrols in the northeast.

Meanwhile, Boko Haram fighters from the ISIS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) late on Friday attacked a military base in the town of Gudumbali in Guzamala district.

Fighters in several trucks fitted with anti-aircraft guns attacked the base around 1600GMT, leading to hours-long fight, the two military sources said.

The attack was repelled with aerial support, the sources said.

There were no reports of casualties.

On December 4, ISWAP fighters attacked a base in the town of Gudumbali, leading to a fierce battle in which two soldiers were injured.

In September the jihadists sacked the same base and temporarily took control of the town before withdrawing.

Since July, AFP has reported more than 20 attacks on military bases and positions in Borno and neighbouring Yobe state.

ISWAP claimed responsibility for most of them.

The Nigerian military has hit out at media reporting of the attacks and even threatened legal action against organisations for publishing unofficial casualty figures.

Borno and Yobe, along with nearby Adamawa state, have borne the brunt of the nine-year violence that has claimed 27 000 lives and devastated the remote region.

Some 1.8 million people are still homeless while aid agencies are grappling with a humanitarian crisis triggered by the conflict.

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Read more on:    isis  |  boko haram  |  nigeria  |  cameroon  |  west africa
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