Suicide bomber kills six Nigerian troops: military

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Nigerian Army soldiers stand at a base in Baga on August 2, 2019. - Intense fighting between a regional force and the Islamic State group in West Africa (ISWAP) has resulted in dozens of deaths, including at least 25 soldiers and more than 40 jihadists, in northeastern Nigeria. ISWAP broke away from Boko Haram in 2016 in part due to its rejection of indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Last year the group witnessed a reported takeover by more hardline fighters who sidelined its leader and executed his deputy. The IS-affiliate has since July 2018 ratcheted up a campaign of attacks against military targets. (Photo by AUDU MARTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read AUDU MARTE/AFP/Getty Images)
File photo: Nigerian Army soldiers stand at a base in Baga. (Photo by AUDU MARTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Six Nigerian soldiers were killed when a jihadist rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into them during a clash in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, two military sources said Tuesday.

The suicide bombing by a member of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group occurred Monday as the soldiers were conducting a raid of the group’s stronghold in the village of Talala, the sources told AFP.

They said scores of jihadists have been killed in the operation launched last week on ISWAP’s second largest camp.

“Our men dominated the terrorists, killing dozens, and out of frustration they sent a suicide bomber who killed six soldiers,” one of the officers said.

They said the troops overran the Talala camp despite the bombing.

On Saturday 13 soldiers were killed in an ISWAP ambush near the town of Gujba in the neighbouring state of Yobe, according to military sources.

ISWAP, which split from the mainstream Boko Haram in 2016, has become a dominant group, focusing on military targets and high-profile attacks, including against aid workers.

The jihadist group has in recent times stepped up attacks on troops and frequently abduct travelers at bogus checkpoints along the highway linking the Borno capital Maiduguri and Damaturu, the capital of Yobe.

At least 36,000 people have been killed in the conflict since 2009 with around two million displaced in the northeast, according to the UN.

The violence has spilled into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the jihadist groups.

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