At least 15 Nigerian soldiers were killed and 10 others were injured when Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) militants attacked a military convoy, security sources said on Saturday.
Four militants were also killed in the attack which happened on Thursday near Gudumbali in the Lake Chad region in the northeastern state of Borno. Another three government fighters were also injured in the ambush.
“We lost 15 soldiers and four civilian JTF (militia) in the terrorists’ ambush in the forest near Gudumbali,” a military officer, who requested to remain anonymous, told AFP.
According to another security source, who gave a similar death toll, the convoy of 10 vehicles was headed to Gudumbali from Kukawa town for a military operation against the militants when it was attacked.
ISWAP claimed responsibility for the attack on Saturday, according the SITE jihadist monitoring agency.
Nigeria has been battling an insurgency by Boko Haram in the restive north and northeast regions for over a decade.
In 2016, the group split into two groups — the main faction and the Islamic State-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). Both groups have been blamed for increasing attacks on civilians they accuse of spying for the army and pro-government militia.
The conflict has killed at least 36,000 people and left millions of others displaced in the northeast and the general Lake Chad Basin.