Nigeria: 13 soldiers killed in jihadist attack in northeast

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Kano | Thirteen Nigerian soldiers were killed on Saturday in an ambush by jihadists linked to the Islamic State in Yobe state in northeastern Nigeria, two military sources told AFP on Monday.

These fighters from the Islamic State in West Africa (Iswap) group opened fire on a military convoy with heavy weapons and rocket launchers in the village of Gazagana, near the town of Gujba, 30 kilometers from the state capital, Damaturu, according to these sources.

“We lost 13 soldiers in this ambush and several were injured,” an officer told AFP.

The convoy was on its way to a military base located in the town of Buni Yadi, 50 km from Damaturu, a second military source told AFP, who communicated the same assessment.

“The clashes were fierce and the terrorists also suffered losses,” added this source, without giving the number of jihadists killed.

The Buni Yadi region is one of the strongholds of Iswap, which regularly carries out attacks against soldiers and travelers.

The insurgents move on the axis connecting Buni Yadi and a camp located in a forest near Benisheikh, in the neighboring Borno state.

Regular clashes occur between the jihadists and the troops on this axis.

Since 2009, northeastern Nigeria, and particularly Borno State, has been plagued by jihadist attacks from the Boko Haram group.

In 2016, Boko Haram split into two factions: that led by historic leader Abubakar Shekau and Iswap, affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) group.

Since the start of the conflict, more than 36,000 people have been killed, and more than two million people have had to flee their homes.

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