Jihadists aligned with the Islamic State group have killed five security personnel, including two soldiers, in three separate attacks in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, sources said Wednesday.
In the first attack on Monday, fighters from the Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP) jihadist group aboard trucks attacked a military post in Tungushe village near the state capital Maiduguri, killing a soldier and injuring another, a military officer told AFP.
“The terrorists attacked around 6:00 pm (1700 GMT), leading to a gun battle in which a soldier was killed and another one was injured,” said the officer, who asked not to be identified.
He said two insurgents were killed in the incident while a gun truck was recovered along with weapons.
The militants withdrew and attacked troops in nearby Gajiganna, where they killed a second soldier and seized a gun truck, according to anti-jihadist militiaman Ibrahim Liman.
Tungushe, which lies 22 kilometres (13 miles) from Maiduguri, has been repeatedly targeted by ISWAP and fighters from the rival Boko Haram faction, attacking troops and raiding the village for food and livestock.
Around the same time on Monday, insurgents on motorcycles and in four trucks fitted with machine guns stormed into the town of Rann near the border with Cameroon, attacking troops and militia positions.
“We lost three of our colleagues in the Rann incident,” Liman told AFP.
“Our consolation is that several terrorists were killed in the fight, including their commander, and one of their trucks was recovered,” he said.
Rann is some 175 kilometres northeast of Maiduguri, where some 35,000 people displaced by the jihadist violence are sheltering.
The town has also come under repeated attack by ISWAP and Boko Haram militants.
On Tuesday, ISWAP issued a statement claiming responsibility for three attacks, including the ones in Tungushe and Rann, resulting in the “killing and wounding” of several troops and the burning of 20 public buildings.
The militants have recently stepped up deadly assaults in the restive northeast.
On Sunday, jihadists killed at least 30 people in an overnight raid on Auno village along the highway leading to Maiduguri where travellers had stopped to comply with a nighttime curfew.
The decade-long jihadist uprising has killed 36,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in northeast Nigeria.
The conflict has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.