Defence minister heads for Chad as IS claims deadly attacks on Nigerian soldiers



President Muhammadu Buhari has sent Mansur Dan-Ali, minister of defence, for an emergency meeting with Chadian President Idris Deby, following the recent attacks on Nigerian soldiers.

According to NAN, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, confirmed the development, but said: “I’m unaware of his mission there.’’

Dan-Ali had on Thursday briefed Buhari on the security situation across the country, especially on the Nigeria-Chad border.

The latest attack on the 157 task force battalion of the Nigerian army in Metele, Borno, left scores of soldiers dead while some are still missing.

Some estimates put the casualty figure at over 100.

The incident occurred barely three weeks after a similar attack took place at a military base in Kukawa, Borno.

Another attack occurred in Zari, also in Borno, in September.

The Nigerian defence minister is also expected to meet with his Chadian counterpart to identify what led to the recent increase in Boko Haram terrorism in the area.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), a faction of the Boko Haram insurgent group, has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks.

According to Reuters, the group said its attacks in the past week left 118 persons dead.

“The insurgents took us unawares. The base was burned with arms and we lost about 100 soldiers. It is a huge loss,” Reuters quoted a military source to have said.

“We all flew because we didn’t know where the bullets were coming from. They killed some of us who went to evacuate the bodies of the killed soldiers.”

“We left our amour, tanks and weapons. They were all there. The village is still under their control.”

The attack is described as one of the deadliest by Boko Haram since Buhari assumed office in 2015.

The presidency and military have claimed that the wings of the terrorist group have been broken despite repeated attacks.


TheCable