Boko Haram militants attacked an army base in northeast Nigeria, killing one soldier, military sources told AFP Friday, a day after regional leaders urged more international support to fight the jihadists.
Fighters with the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) came in trucks fitted with anti-aircraft guns and attacked the base in Arege village near the fishing town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad.
The base came under attack before dawn, prompting clashes, a military source told AFP.
“The attack was successfully repelled but unfortunately a soldier was killed and seven others were injured,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the incident.
The same base came under attack on Wednesday, but the militants failed to overrun it “and suffered heavy casualties,” a military statement said on Twitter.
The jihadists have in recent months intensified their attacks on military bases in the northeast, with the most audacious taking place on November 18 when military sources said at least 43 soldiers were killed at a base in Metele near the border with Niger.
Troops who survived said over 100 of their colleagues were killed, but after a long period of silence, the military on Wednesday gave an official figure of 23 deaths.
The latest attack came a day after President Muhammadu Buhari went to N’Djamena to meet top leaders from Chad, Niger and Cameroon to discuss how to deal with the surge in violence.
Buhari is under pressure to show his administration is winning the fight against Boko Haram ahead of a presidential election in February at which he will seek a second term in office.
“The heads of state and government… expressed their deep concern with regards to the upsurge of attacks… and expressed the crucial need to change their modus operandi in the fight against Boko Haram,” a joint statement said after the talks.
They also urged the international community “to support their efforts in the fight against terrorism in the region.”
The nine-year conflict has killed 27,000 people and displaced 1.8 million from their homes in Nigeria.
The violence has also spilt over into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.