In an ambush by jihadist fighters on the Nigerian army’s convoy on March 24, at least 70 soldiers have been killed according to the military sources. Two military officers told an international news agency that Islamist insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and heavy guns at a truck carrying troops while it was travelling near Gorgi village in Borno state on March 22.
The attack came as the country is also battling the deadly coronavirus crisis which has spread to over 195 countries. Nigeria has even banned entry from 13 countries which are worst affected by the pandemic including the United States, Britain, Germany, China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan. Nigeria till now has recorded 40 confirmed coronavirus cases with one death. Several governments in Africa, where the virus present in at least 26 countries but has spread more slowly than in Europe and Asia, have closed borders, cancelled flights and imposed strict entry and quarantine requirements.
Recently, Boko Haram jihadists killed at least 30 people and abducted women and children in the Borno state of Nigeria, said a regional government’s spokesperson. The extremist group reportedly stormed the area with heavy weapons and abducted women and children after killing many people, said government spokesperson Ahmad Abdurrahman Bundi.
Bundi, in a statement, said that the attackers killed at least 30 people and torched the vehicles present in the area. According to media reports, most of the victims were travellers who stopped at a place which was around 25 kilometres west of Maiduguri, active region for fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). Reports suggest that many of the drivers sleeping in the vehicles were burnt alive by the jihadists.
The highway, linking Maiduguri to Damaturu, has frequently been targeted by the ISWAP militants in the recent months. The increasing influence of the jihadists has forced the Nigerian military to create ‘super camps’ in which small army camps move together to create larger bases.