Two Chadian soldiers have been killed in the northeast Nigeria in a gunfight between members of a regional force and jihadists, security and civilian sources said Friday.
CEOAFRICA learnt that, a joint operation between Chadian and Nigerian troops engaged fighters aligned to the Islamic State group in an “intense” battle on Thursday in Ari-Gambori village.
“Two Chadian soldiers lost their lives in the fight in which the terrorists were routed,” said a military officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The clashes erupted after troops targeted the fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) following reports they were planning an ambush, the military officer said.
A resident from the nearby town of Gajiram confirmed the death toll and said that “several” jihadists were killed as they were forced back by the military.
In the past two months, ISWAP — a faction of Boko Haram that broke away in 2016 — has intensified ambushes against troops.
11 Nigerian soldiers were killed last week and 16 injured when ISWAP fighters ambushed a military patrol in Benisheikh district.
The surge in ambushes follows the launch of a new strategy by the army that has seen forward bases pulled back to form “super camps” in a bid to stave off jihadist raids.
The decade-long conflict has killed 35,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in northeast Nigeria.
The violence has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting the formation of a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.