Two army sources on Monday disclosed to AFP that thirteen soldiers have been killed in an ambush by jihadist fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province group in volatile northeastern Nigeria.
It was reported that the heavy gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades hit a military convoy in Gazagana village, 30 kilometres from Yobe state capital Damaturu on Saturday.
An officer who spoke on the incident said, “We lost 13 soldiers in this ambush and several were injured.”
Another source noted that the convoy was headed for a military base at Buni Yadi, another 20 kilometres from Damaturu.
“It was a fierce battle and the terrorists also suffered casualties,” he said.
The jihadist fighters since 2009 have focused Buni Yadi region where the Boko Haram group is also active.
ISWAP split from Boko Haram in 2016 and rose to become a dominant group.
The violence has spread into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the militants.
At least 36,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has displaced about two million from their homes since 2009.
In a related development, a reverend of Anglican Church Nigeria (ACN) based in Borno State, Pastor Desmond Yunana, has revealed that the factional leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, is critically ill and his ready to beg Nigerians for forgiveness.
Speaking during a sermon in his church on Sunday, the Borno pastor said the Boko Haram leader wants Nigerians to pray for him.