Death toll rises in Boko Haram base attack in NE Nigeria

Nigerian military troops salute Nigeria's President during his visit to troops on the front lines of Boko Haram conflict, last week. The terrorist group has reportedly killed at least eight soldiers on Tuesday.
Nigerian military troops salute Nigeria's President during his visit to troops on the front lines of Boko Haram conflict, last week. The terrorist group has reportedly killed at least eight soldiers on Tuesday.
Image: Audu MARTE / AFP

The number of soldiers killed in a Boko Haram attack on a military base in northeast Nigeria's Yobe state has risen to eight, security sources said Tuesday.

Gunmen from Boko Haram faction the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked the base on Saturday in Buni Gari village, 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Damaturu, the state capital.

Two soldiers and six insurgents were initially said to have been killed in the attack. But sources on Tuesday said eight soldiers were killed.

"The death toll is now eight. Six more bodies of soldiers were later recovered and moved to Damaturu," a military officer, who did not want to be named, told AFP.

A civilian militia fighting jihadists in the area confirmed the recovery of six more bodies of soldiers.

"All the eight dead soldiers are now in the morgue at the Specialist Hospital in Damaturu," said a spokesperson for the militia, who asked not to be identified for fear of sanction.

Military authorities were not immediately available to comment on the new toll.

The insurgents destroyed an armoured vehicle and stole a truck during the attack.

Sources said air support and reinforcements from a military base in the nearby town of Buni Yadi helped push out the militants from the base.

Buni Yadi district is a known ISWAP stronghold.

The Boko Haram faction has in recent months intensified attacks on military targets in Borno and Yobe states.

The two regions, along with nearby Adamawa state, have borne the brunt of nine years of jihadist violence that has claimed 27,000 lives and forced 1.8 million people to flee their homes.

Since July, AFP has reported 19 attacks on military bases in Borno and Yobe and ISWAP has claimed responsibility for most of them.

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