Militants from the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād, have taken over a military base in Damasak town, Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State.
Sources told SaharaReporters that the insurgents stormed the community, shooting in all directions before ramming a pick-up truck loaded with explosives into the military base.
A resident said the gunmen came in different groups and could not be counted.
He added that some Nigerian soldiers were killed while others fled into the bush.
“They came, hundreds of them, with guns, trucks, and grenades and started firing from different directions. The soldiers ran away and left us on our own. They didn’t shoot at them (insurgents) at all. Though some soldiers were killed I can’t say how many,” he told SaharaReporters.
It was learnt that the insurgents also burnt a Nigerian army tanker and some buildings in the military base.
The attack on the base took place just days after Boko Haram fighters ambushed a military convoy in Gudumbali, Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno state, killing over 15 soldiers, including the commanding officer, 123 Special Forces Battalion, Major U.I. Urang.
Boko Haram and its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province, have killed thousands and displaced millions in northeastern Nigeria.
The Nigerian military has repeatedly claimed that the insurgency has been largely defeated and therefore frequently underplays any losses.
In the past months, soldiers have been targeted by the insurgents.
Many soldiers and officers have been reportedly killed since January 2021.
At least 33 soldiers were recently killed when two vehicles loaded with explosives rammed into a military convoy in Wulgo.
The suicide bombers were identified as Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and Bana Jundullah. The group also claimed four military vehicles were destroyed.
In February, about 20 soldiers were also killed in Malari, Borno State by the insurgents.
SaharaReporters gathered that the soldiers were on patrol to clear some Boko Haram elements in the area following credible intelligence when they were ambushed by the group.