Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP), a breakaway faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group, have reportedly killed 10 Nigerian soldiers and taken one hostage during a gun clash in Borno state.
Vanguard quoted two security sources saying that clashes erupted on Monday when a team of soldiers stormed a camp of ISWAP in Alagarno village in Damboa district.
“We lost 10 soldiers in the fight and one was taken by the terrorists. The hostage was seized while fleeing to safety after the troops were outgunned,” a security source told AFP on Tuesday.
“It was an intense battle and the terrorists also suffered casualties but they were able to overwhelm the soldiers,” said a second security source who confirmed the toll.
The second source added that the insurgents seized four Nigerian military vehicles, including a truck and an armoured vehicle.
ISWAP Amaq news outlet, on Tuesday, shared pictures of vehicles captured and destroyed in an ambush of Nigerian troops advancing in the dreaded Alagarno forest – Timbuktu triangle area.
One of the vehicles in Nigerian Army camouflage pattern was a new Toyota Landcruiser (Buffalo) Guntruck and the other the newly inducted Kia KIA KLTV-181 military tactical-utility vehicle designed and manufactured by Kia Motors Corporation.
Calibre Obscura, an arms researcher, in a tweet on the incident said, “ISWA ambushed/repelled the Nigerian Army (NA) in #Alagarno leading to multiple (7 claimed) killed and vehicles captured, including an up-gunned Kia KIA KLTV181 APC delivered only this year, and technical[ly] so new it has the emissions still on the window. HMGs/small arms likely captured too.”
On Tuesday, ISWAP also confirmed that its fighters killed seven soldiers while repelling an attack in Alagarno forest.
“Clashes took place with a variety of weapons, which led to the killing of seven elements and taking an eighth prisoner,” the group said in a statement, according to SITE Intelligence, which monitors jihadist activities worldwide.
The insurgents seized “an array of weapons” and vehicles, the statement said.
ISWAP claimed it killed another four Nigerian troops on the same day in a separate attack near the town of Gamboru close to the border with Cameroon. AFP could not independently verify the claim.
This is coming months after the Nigerian Army said that the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) have eliminated 134 Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists and arrested 16 informants in Borno State.