İrem UZUN -TDO- The Nigerian military says 18 people have been left dead after an ambush on a government convoy in the north-east of the country. It said four soldiers, 10 police officers and four civilians were killed in the attack targeting Borno state officials on Friday. The Islamic State (ISIS) group said it was behind the attack, claiming 30 people had been killed.
Jihadis fighters linked to the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) group opened fire with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, in an attempt to harm Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State. The governor was unharmed, he was extracted to a nearby garrison, before heading back under tight security. The militants planted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the road from the town of Monguno to the fishing town of Baga, said Maj Gen John Enenche, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Defense Headquarters, in a statement.
The attack signifies that rural areas in Nigeria are still not safe enough for displaced people to return. The military has been battling Islamist militants for more than a decade. More than 30,000 people have been killed and millions have had to flee their homes because of the insurgency by Islamist militants Boko Haram. They launched their military operation in 2009 and their attacks have spread from north-eastern Nigeria to neighboring countries Chad, Niger and Cameroon. One faction broke away in 2016 and now fights under the banner of a group called Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).