Boko Haram faction raids army base in Nigeria
Jihadists burn down military base and school
Kano — Islamist militants raided a military base in northeast Nigeria, killing a policeman and a local resident, witnesses said on Thursday.
Fighters in 13 vehicles late on Wednesday attacked the base outside Miringa village, 15km from the home of army chief Yusuf Tukur Buratai.
The jihadists, believed to be from the Islamic State-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), burnt the base along with an armoured vehicle and a primary school.
“They came around 6.30pm in 13 vehicles and attacked the military location just outside the village,” Miringa resident Umar Sanda said. “The two sides fought for more than one hour while all the people in the village fled into the bush.”
Fleeing residents later returned to their homes and “found the base, the lodging, an armoured personnel carrier and a section of a primary school burnt,” said another resident Abba Usman.
Usman said the bodies of a policeman and a resident who lived near the base were recovered.
“The soldiers were able to fight off the attack and prevented the insurgents from entering the village,” said civilian militia leader Mustapha Karimbe, from the nearby town of Biu.
The area around Miringa has been repeatedly targeted by insurgents since Buratai became Nigeria’s chief of army staff in 2015. In January 2019, six soldiers were killed and 14 were injured when ISWAP sacked a base in nearby Kamuya village, stealing weapons and burning military vehicles.
Kamuya, the home village of Buratai’s mother, was hit twice in December 2015, not long after he was named the army chief.
Boko Haram’s decade-long conflict has killed more than 27,000 people and displaced another 1.8-million from their homes in northeast Nigeria alone.
Attacks have also been recorded in the wider Lake Chad area of neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, with particular concern in recent months about attacks from ISWAP.
The IS-backed faction has repeatedly targeted military installations and troops since mid-2018. It may also have replaced its leader with a hardliner at a time of mounting concern about the spread of jihadism in the wider West African region.