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Boko Haram attack leaves 15 soldiers dead

At least Fifteen soldiers were killed in a Boko Haram jihadist attack on a military base near the Niger border and in the Lake Chad region on Wednesday, the military said Wednesday.

Seven Nigerian soldiers and 8 Chadian soldiers killed in Boko Haram attacks

Eight Chadian soldiers died in a Boko Haram attack in the Lake Chad region on Wednesday, with 48 jihadists killed as the army retaliated, a military spokesman told AFP.

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The Islamists and the army were engaged in a fierce battle on Monday in Metele, a village in Nigeria’s northeast Borno State, the military said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Seven soldiers died and 16 were wounded “in action” the army said, but military and civilian militia sources put the death toll higher.

“We lost 18 men in the fight which lasted for seven hours,” a military officer told AFP, speaking from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri.

“Our men fought hard and dealt heavy blows on the terrorists but they were overwhelmed by the enemy who overran the base,” said the officer who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorised to speak on the incident.

A civilian militia assisting the military in fighting the jihadists said that on Tuesday 18 bodies of soldiers were brought to the garrison town of Monguno, 120 kilometres (70 miles) from the attacked base.

“The fighting was fierce. It started around 4:30 pm and continued till 11:30 pm,” the militia man said.

Boko Haram suffered “heavy” casualties but managed to invade the base and take weapons, he said, adding that the jihadists destroyed “those they could not take away.”

Boko Haram’s Islamic State group-backed faction — known as Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) — operates in the Lake Chad region and has in recent months intensified attacks on military bases in Borno and nearby Yobe states.

The attacks are seen as a sign of a hardline takeover in ISWAP by more radical lieutenants who executed the group’s de facto leader over his willingness to hold peace talks with the Nigerian government.

Scores of soldiers have been killed, injured or missing in the latest wave of attacks but the military has repeatedly denied or played down losses to the jihadists.

More than 27,000 people are thought to have been killed in the nine-year Boko Haram Islamist insurgency that has triggered a humanitarian crisis and left 1.8 million people without homes.

8 Chadian soldiers killed in Boko Haram attack

Eight Chadian soldiers died in a Boko Haram attack in the Lake Chad region on Wednesday, with 48 jihadists killed as the army retaliated, a military spokesman told AFP.

“Boko Haram terrorists attacked defence force positions in Kaiga Kindji early this morning,” the spokesman said.

The attack, which left 11 other soldiers wounded, had been “vigorously” repulsed, he added.

Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency has devastated the Lake Chad region since the group took up arms in Nigeria in 2009.

The jihadists’ campaign of violence has left at least 27,000 people dead, displaced some two million others and triggered a humanitarian crisis.

Chad, Cameroon and Niger have all joined the military effort by Nigeria to crush Boko Haram. Chad has seen a recent increase in attacks by the group.

A Chadian soldier was killed earlier this month after Boko Haram launched a mortar attack on a military camp in Litri, close to the Nigeria border.

In late September, six people, including two soldiers, were killed in another Boko Haram attack on the Chadian shores of Lake Chad, in which 17 of the attackers were shot dead by the army.

The Nigerian army has recently intensified operations in the Lake Chad region, including air strikes against the jihadist group, according to Nigerian military sources.


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