AfricaSecurity

Nine Nigerian soldiers killed after jihadist ambush

An ambush in north-eastern Nigeria has left at least nine soldiers dead and other civilians missing

A civilian envoy in Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria was attacked on Saturday by jihadist troops , leaving at least nine soldiers dead.

Security sources say the ambush happened near Damboa in Borno, close to a forest enclave where Boko Haram militants operate a base.

The BBC reports that the Nigerian army was escorting a civilian convoy of more than 100 vehicles past the area.

However, the extremists ambushed the convoy using guns, grenades and other explosives.

More than 36,000 people have been killed by the insurgency over the past decade, as Boko Haram militants expand their operations to neighbouring countries.

Presumed abducted

Meanwhile, besides the soldiers, two other militiamen were killed in the attack. Many other civilians have gone missing.

AFP News reports that the missing civilians are presumed dead or abducted following Saturday’s ambush.

A military officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Nine soldiers and two (anti-jihadist) militia were killed in the attack … It was an ambush on a civilian convoy escorted by troops and the militia.”

The militia leader Ibrahim Liman also confirmed that the bodies of the soldiers have been retrieved.

“The bodies of nine soldiers and two vigilantes were recovered from the attack, along with others who sustained injuries,” he told AFP News.

Ambushes beyond Maiduguri

Maiduguri has become a target for Boko Haram and its splinter Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

The terrorist groups are notorious for ambushing military and civilian convoys on highways outside the capital.

In recent years, many civilians, including travellers, have been abducted at quasi-checkpoints manned by the jihadists. As such, the military has been providing security escorts for people travelling north of Maiduguri.

E A Alanore

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