Boko Haram claimed it killed 20 soldiers in Borno state and wounded dozens of others in a fierce clash on Sunday, October 16.
In a statement released on Monday, October 17, by the group using the name Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), the insurgents said they were still a threat to the northeastern region, The Punch reports.
ISWAP is a faction of Boko Haram. The Islamic State jihadist group appointed Abu Musab al-Barnawi as its leader in August. However, Abubakar Shekau is still claiming to be in charge of the sect.
According to the group, it “stormed a joint position of the armies of Nigeria and Niger” in the town of Ghashghar in northeast Borno state.
Confirming the raid, a community leader in the Ghashghar area said the Boko Haram militants took the soldiers by surprise when they fired rocket-propelled grenades.
“I was called by two of my contacts, informing of an attack late yesterday on the joint military personnel from Nigeria and Niger stationed in Asaka village, around 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Ghashghar,” the community leader who pleaded anonymity said.
The leader said he was told that the insurgents who came in eight vehicles launched an attack with heavy guns and rocket-propelled grenades on the soldiers.
He said the insurgents stole six military vehicles and weapons.
“The soldiers suffered huge casualties because they were taken off-guard. They never anticipated such an attack,” he added.
This is coming less than a week after 21 Chibok girls were released from Boko Haram captivity. The girls have been reunited with their families.
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that more Chibok girls will be released as long as Boko Haram terrorists are ready to negotiate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Since 2009, Boko Haram has been waging war against Nigeria and some other West African nations like Niger and Cameroon.