- The attackers are said to have been in possession of heavy weaponry, including rocket launchers.
- The early morning attack also left dozens of civilians injured.
- Earlier, insurgents killed more than 69 people in a raid on Faduma Koloram village, in Gubio district, Borno state.
At least 20 Nigerian soldiers and more than 40 civilians have been killed by militants in two separate attacks in Borno State, in the Northeastern part of Nigeria. In one of the attacks In Monguno, a home for International non-governmental organizations, the militants overpowered the government forces, killing the 20 soldiers, and taking some of the casualties.
The attackers are said to have been in possession of heavy weaponry, including rocket launchers. “They fired rocket-propelled grenades indiscriminately which fell on homes, killing three people and injuring many others,” resident Kulo Gana told AFP. “I saw the bodies of the two soldiers and the militia member on the streets after the fighting.”
The early morning attack also left dozens of civilians injured. According to a witness, the fighters burnt down a local police station and a United Nations humanitarian hub. They then distributed letters, written in the local dialect, to the locals, warning them not to cooperate with the international aid groups and the military.
According to a Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) fighter, and some of the locals, the fighters arrived on motorcycles and pickup trucks, killing more than 40 civilians in Ngazai. The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the two attacks.
The two attacks in Nganzai and Monguno areas on Saturday came just a few days after the insurgents killed more than 69 people in a raid on Faduma Koloram village, in Gubio district, Borno state. The fighters, who arrived on motorcycles and vehicles, shot at residents, razed the village, and stole 1,200 cattle and camels.
A CJFT fighter said that the residents, who were armed, have always repelled previous attacks. However, on that fateful day, they were caught unaware by the militants. The fighters attacked the village because they believed the residents were sharing the militant group’s information with the security agencies. ISWAP also claimed responsibility for that attack.
ISWAP is a splinter group of Boko Haram, which broke away from it in 2016. ISWAP has intensified its attacks against the military in the last two years, and it has repeatedly carried out deadly attacks on soldiers. Boko Haram began its insurgency in 2009, and has become the dominant jihadist group in the region.
Boko Haram, and its splinter group, operate in the region, and have repeatedly attacked military bases and aid workers in northeast Nigeria. The violence has since spread to the neighboring countries, and has displaced more than 2.2 million people across Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
The group has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced millions, and created one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. The militant groups have shown no signs of slowing down on the attacks, and this has prompted a regional military coalition against the militants.