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Jihadists aligned with the Islamic State militant group, Boko Haram late Friday, seized control of a military base in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, Agency France Press reporting.
In December 2020, Boko Haram admitted to killing scores of rice farmers in northern Nigeria. The terror group said the attacks were carried out in retribution for farmers cooperating with the Nigerian military.
Multiple sources say the friday attacks left Civilians caught in the crossfire – the civilians were reported to have fled Marte towards the garrison town of Dikwa.
Shortly after, Military reinforcements and combat aircraft participated in a counter-assault against members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), late friday evening, targeting the military base in Marte, Borno State, Northeast Nigeria.
The Nigerian Military is yet to comment about the attacks as at the time of filling this story.
Actual casualty figures, remain sketchy as of the time of filing this report but the attack is carried out just as the Borno State Government relocated about 300 displaced households to Marte.
In October, last year, the governor inaugurated two committees to resettle Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Marte, Kirawa and Ngoshe to their ancestral homes.
In 2016, the group split into two groups — the main faction led by Abubakar Shekau and the IS-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 jihadist violence has also spread into neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.
In the meantime, the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major-General John Enenche has said that Boko Haram insurgents no longer have authority over any part of the country, especially in the northeast where the insurgents once had a stronghold.
Speaking on Channel Television’s Politics Today on Friday, Enenche explained that what the country now has are remnants and a weakened enemy (Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters).
“They are moving from bush to enclave and enclave to bush and no longer have any authority or sovereignty on any territory in the northeast and by extension, to Nigeria,” he said.
The comments come on the same day that the nation marked the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, in honour of the fallen heroes of the military.
While the nation continues to record some successes in its insurgency war, many have faulted the government’s claims of its success, even as many, including frontline officers have had to pay the supreme price.
Still, the government has severally reiterated that the insecurity fight under the current administration has been far more progressive than in previous governments.
General Enenche also restated this position on Friday, noting that “the Armed Forces of Nigeria made a lot of progress last year in the area of packaging itself to further the defense of this country.”
“As of 2015 before this administration came on board, at least 17 and 20 local governments were strongholds of the insurgents… by 2016 the whole of the northeast was recaptured and the government took back full authority,” he said.
He also spoke about welfare packages for families of the fallen heroes.