Five people, including four members of a militia force, were killed in an ambush by Boko Haram jihadists in Nigeria’s northeast Nigerian Borno state, days after suicide attacks in the area killed 28, local vigilantes told AFP.
A convoy of trucks under military and militia escort came under fire from Boko Haram jihadists on Thursday at Meleri village in Konduga district which has been repeatedly pounded by Boko Haram attacks. “We lost four of our colleagues and the driver of one of the trucks they were escorting in the ambush,” said Ibrahim Liman, leader of a militia force fighting the jihadists.
Two soldiers were also injured in the attack which happened 27 kilometres (16 miles) from the Borno state capital Maiduguri, Liman said. The trucks were carrying sand to the town of Bama, 30 kilometres away, for ongoing reconstruction works after the area was totally destroyed when Boko Haram invaded it two years ago, said another militia member Musa Ari. “The military and vigilantes in the convoy fought off the Boko Haram attackers but four of our comrades and a driver were killed,” Ari said.
Last week three female suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance to a camp for displaced people in nearby Mandarari village on Tuesday, killing 28 people and wounding 82. Konduga district is a known hotbed of Boko Haram activity, despite government and military claims that the jihadists are a spent force, having been forced out of their Sambisa Forest enclave.
In June, eight members of a civilian militia force where killed in an ambush by Boko Haram gunmen hiding in trees outside Kayamla village in the area, while eight loggers were killed and their bodies burnt near the village two months earlier. The eight-year conflict by the Sunni jihadist group aimed at establishing a hard-line Islamic Caliphate has left at least 20,000 people dead and displaced 2.6 million, creating one of world’s major humanitarian catastrophe.
The violence has spilt into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.