13 Nigerian Soldiers Killed in Terrorists Ambush as Insurgents Resurge in Africa’s Sahel Region
Thirteen Nigerian soldiers were reported dead in a gun battle with insurgents when a military convoy was ambushed by terrorists linked to the Islamic State West Africa Province Group (ISWAP) in Gazagana village, in the north-eastern state of Yobe on Saturday.
Heavy gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades hit the military convoy, reports said.
The Nigerian military confirmed the incidence, even though it initially said that only one soldier died and 28 jihadists were “neutralized”.
ISWAP had carried out series of attacks on soldiers in Yobe and Borno states.
Earlier on Friday (January 8), Boko Haram militants have killed 14 people in an overnight attack in the town of Mozogo, in Cameroon’s Far North region.
The jihadist group has in recent days staged several attacks in the same region despite the government’s claims of success against them.
The mayor of Mozogo, Boukar Medjewe, said local residents started fleeing to a nearby forest as soon as they heard that the attackers were approaching the town.
A suicide bomber who hid among the fleeing civilians detonated explosives killing 11 people on the spot, before gunmen shot dead three others.
The mayor said the military responded quickly but couldn’t shoot at the militants who had mixed with the civilians.
Many Cameroonians are questioning the government’s claims of almost defeating the Islamist group.
Earlier on January 3, suspected Islamist militants attacked two villages in Niger Republic, with reports of dozens of civilians killed.
Reuters reported that about 49 died and 17 injured in the village of Tchombangou, while another 30 died in Zaroumdareye – both near Niger’s western border with Mali.
The BBC reports that there have been several recent violent incidents in Africa’s Sahel region, carried out by militant groups.
It said Niger’s Tillabéri region, which lies within the so-called tri-border area between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, has been plagued by jihadi attacks in recent years.
Travel by motorbike has been banned in the region for a year, as part of efforts to stop incursions by Islamic militants, who often launch attacks from the vehicles.
Areas of Niger are also facing repeated attacks by jihadists from Nigeria, where the government is fighting an insurgency by Boko Haram.
Last month, members of the group killed at least 27 people in Niger’s south-eastern Diffa region.
The latest attacks in Tillabéri come amid national elections in Niger, as President Mahamadou Issoufou steps down after two five-year terms.
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