At least 70 soldiers were killed in the attack on their convoy in northeast Nigeria, a region plagued by violence by the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP), military sources said on Tuesday.
“We are recording very heavy losses,” said a senior military source on condition of anonymity. “At least 70 soldiers, according to this source, died in the ambush” tense Monday in the region of Konduga (Borno State).
” The terrorists specifically targeted a truck loaded with RPG rocket launchers and grenades before setting the vehicle on fire, “said another military source.
A very provisional assessment
70 bodies were found “but the balance could be much greater and the counting operation is still in progress,” added this source. “We will have a more precise picture of the dead and (the number) of soldiers who have been kidnapped by the end of the day,” she said.
The military convoy left Monday morning from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, and headed for camps where jihadists are based to carry out an attack, said a member of the civil militias who fight alongside the Nigerian army.
Attacks that multiply
Contacted, an army spokesperson declined to speak on the attack.
Members of ISWAP, a branch of Boko Haram affiliated with the Islamic State group since August 2016, are increasing the attacks against the armed forces and have killed dozens, if not hundreds, of Nigerian soldiers.
The conflict between the Nigerian armed forces and Boko Haram has killed 35,000 people since 2009 and two million people still cannot return to their homes. The conflict has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.