A group, using the name Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), has claimed in a statement that it stormed a joint position of the armies of Nigeria and Niger in the town of Ghashghar in northeast Borno State and killed scores of soldiers
It claimed it killed 20 soldiers and wounded dozens of others in a daring raid on Sunday.
ISWAP is a faction of Boko Haram, whose leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi was appointed by the Islamic State jihadist group in August.
A community leader in the Ghashghar area confirmed the raid, saying soldiers were taken by surprise when Boko Haram militants fired rocket-propelled grenades.
“I was called by two of my contacts, informing of an attack late yesterday on the joint military personnel from Nigeria and Niger stationed in Asaka village, around 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Ghashghar,” a community leader from the area said.
“According to them, Boko Haram launched an attack with heavy guns and rocket-propelled grenades on the soldiers. The attackers came in eight vehicles,” said the leader, who asked to remain anonymous fearing reprisal from the military.
“The soldiers suffered huge casualties because they were taken off-guard. They never anticipated such an attack,” he said, adding that the jihadists stole six military vehicles and weapons.
The violence marred the celebrations following the release of some of the kidnapped Chibok school girls last Thursday.