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ISWAP backed Boko Haram on rampage in Borno, kill army commander, 7 others, cart away weapons

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Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) arm of Boko Haram has intensified its attack on military formations in the North East killing a Commanding Officer and 7 others when they hit two Army Bases.

AFP reports that ISWAP, arm of the dreaded Boko Haram group on Sunday morning attacked a base in Ajiri, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) away from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

Also similar attack had been carried out earlier on Saturday night when the insurgents hit a base in Rann in the same state, the military sources said.

According to the source, in Ajiri, troops fought a two-hour gun battle with the insurgents in gun trucks and on motorbikes who eventually breached the base and forced troops to withdraw.

“The commanding officer of the base, paid the supreme price while six civilians who were caught up in the fight were also killed,” one of the military sources said.

Another source confirmed the toll and said militants escaped with weapons from the base.

Late on Saturday 1May while workers were marking their workers day celebration in the country, they attacked a base in Rann, 172 km from Maiduguri but were beaten back by troops using artillery.

“They came in six gun trucks and met a stiff resistance from troops at the base. Two of the gun trucks were hit by troops artillery fire. The other four fled,” a military source said.

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One civilian who was wounded later died in hospital.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this year replaced his four top military commanders in a bid to better combat the insurgency that has also displaced more than two million people from their homes as far back as 2006.

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And ISWAP split from mainstream Boko Haram in 2016 and became a dominant group, launching attacks on military bases and ambushing troops while abducting travellers at fake checkpoints.

It was the immediate past military echelon that in 2019 came up with the idea of what the call ‘super camp’ , fortified garrisons meant to give better protection against attacks.

However many critics say the strategy has left jihadists with more freedom to roam untouched in rural areas and made highways vulnerable to kidnappings and assaults.

And has not really improved the fight against insurgency.

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