iswap: Nigerian army general, troops killed in ISWAP attack

MAIDUGURI: a Nigerian army The general and three soldiers were killed on Saturday during an attack by the Islamic State in the West African province (ISWAP) militants in the northeast of the country, the army and sources said.
ISWAP split from Boko Haram five years ago and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and has been fighting the Nigerian armed forces.
Spokesperson for the Army Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu said the troops had encountered ISWAP fighters in Borno the Askira Uba local government area of ​​the state, where a fierce battle took place and several militants were killed.
“Sadly, a courageous high-ranking officer, Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu and three soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice … as they provided reinforcement in a counter-offensive against terrorists,” Nwachukwu said in a statement.
Borno state is at the center of the Islamist insurgency, which has spread to neighboring Chad and Cameroon and has left some 300,000 people dead and millions dependent on aid, according to the United Nations.
Military sources and residents said ISWAP fighters attacked Askira on Saturday morning with at least 12 armed trucks, burned houses, shops and a school and forced some residents to flee.
The army had brought in reinforcements, but the battle was still going on as night approached, the sources said.
Askira is about 150 kilometers south of the state capital of Borno. Maiduguri and it is located along the periphery of the Sambisa forest, the operational base of both Boko Haram and ISWAP.
Security sources said ISWAP fighters had also separately attacked troops near the city of Maiduguri, but there were no immediate details on the victims.
The Nigerian military said last month that it had killed the new ISWAP leader in a military operation, weeks after announcing the death of the group’s former head, Abu Musab al-Barnawi.

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