Reports have emerged that Boko Haram terrorists have killed 53 soldiers and farmers in three days of attacks in North East of the country.
Security sources said Tuesday that the terrorists had attacked villages in the past three days in a new show of force.
The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a Boko Haram splinter group, killed at least 44 soldiers in attacks on three military bases at the weekend, according to security sources.
Of those, at least 43 were killed on Sunday in Metele, a remote village near the border with Niger, according to a military officer who requested anonymity.
“Our troops were completely routed and the terrorists captured the base after heavy fighting,” he said, adding that the base commander and three officers were among the dead.
A search was under way for survivors or further victims in the surrounding bush, he said.
A member of the civilian JTF said the terrorists arrived on around 20 trucks and army air support did not arrive until after they had “invaded the base and looted the weapons.”
The same day, the terrorists also launched a pre-dawn attack on a base in the town of Gajiram, some 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.
Fighting lasted several hours, local residents said.
And a soldier was killed in an attack Saturday on a base in Mainok, also in Borno state, the cradle of the Boko Haram movement, security sources said.
ISWAP claimed responsibility for the attacks in Metele and Mainok, claiming to have killed at least 42 soldiers in addition to carting away four tanks and other vehicles, according to the SITE Intelligence monitoring group.
In addition, Monday saw the latest in a string of attacks on villages, usually carried out to pillage food and abduct civilians used as fighters or forced to marry jihadists.
The terrorists have accused farmers and loggers of passing information to the military.
Armed with guns and machetes, they killed nine farmers and abducted 12 others in the Mammanti village in Borno state, locals said on Tuesday.
The jihadists came on bicycles, said Usman Kaka, a farmer who escaped. “They just opened fire on us and continued to fire as we fled,” Kaka said.
Village chief Muhammad Mammanti said the assailants had hacked “three people who resisted being abducted”.
Also on Monday, seven women were snatched while working in fields near the city of Bama, according to militiamen fighting alongside army soldiers.
In an attack on Mammanti last week, jihadists stole hundreds of heads of cattle.