At least three Nigerian soldiers were killed when insurgents attacked a military base in Borno state, military and militia sources told AFP on Wednesday, May 22.
Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province faction of Boko Haram on Monday evening attacked the base in the town of Gubio, around 80 km (50 miles) north of Borno state capital Maiduguri, firing heavy weapons and dislodging troops.
ISIS on Wednesday claimed that 20 Nigerian soldiers were killed when ISWAP fighters “took control” of the base. ISIS later released a video showing ISWAP attacks mainly in the Lake Chad area between November and January. The video appeared to also show the execution of nine people, including one tank crewman who was killed with a rocket-propelled grenade.
“The terrorists attacked troops around 7 p.m. and forced them to withdraw after gunfight in which three soldiers were killed and six injured,” said a military officer who asked not to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to media. “We have six soldiers who are still missing.”
An armored personnel vehicle and a truck as well as weapons were looted by the jihadists, he said.
At least five militants were killed in a fightback with the support of troops from nearby locations, the officer said.
His account was supported by a militiaman fighting the jihadists alongside troops in the town who said that “terrorists dislodged troops manning a checkpoint” leading to the camp.
Citing a security source and a humanitarian worker, Reuters reported the insurgents attacked Gubio in technical vehicles – pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns – and on motorcycles.
The humanitarian worker said troops withdrew after a gun battle that lasted more than an hour, and they counted the bodies of more than 15 dead soldiers.
Yerwa Express reported a resident as saying the Gubio base was attacked from the Magumeri direction at around 6:30 p.m., and there were “intense gun exchanges with the military for more than an hour.”
Premium Times reported at least one soldier was killed, three others injured, and six were missing as of Tuesday night. According to the report, soldiers repelled “most of the Boko Haram attackers,” killing at least one and recovering some weapons.
In a Wednesday statement, Islamic State claimed fighters from its West Africa Province affiliate carried out the attack on the Gubio base, saying that it took place on Tuesday. ISIS claimed 20 soldiers were killed and others injured, and that vehicles, weapons and ammunition were captured.
ISIS propaganda agency Amaq published a similar release, including an image of what appears to be a captured police Otokar Cobra armored vehicle, saying that the ISWAP fighters “took control” of the base after a battle in which 20 Nigerian soldiers were killed. Other military personnel were wounded and the remainder fled, the release said, adding that an armored vehicle, two other military vehicles, and “large quantity of weapons and ammunition” were captured.
Amaq later released three images that it said were “part of the spoils” taken “after attacking the Nigerian army barracks in Borno,” without specifying a date or location. The images included one of a crew-cab type pickup truck, and two others that showed around two dozen assault rifles, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and three machine guns, along with around 20 apparent ammunition boxes.
The Amaq release also noted that the “positions of the African coalition forces are constantly attacked by fighters of the Islamic State, in which the coalition armies have suffered heavy losses in the past months.”Senior German diplomat in Tehran for nuclear deal talks