At least 31 Nigerian soldiers were killed when IS-aligned jihadists ambushed a military convoy escorting weapons and overran a base in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, military sources said on Monday.
The report said that fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked the convoy with rocket-propelled grenades on Sunday in the town of Mainok outside the regional capital Maiduguri before storming the nearby base, the two sources said.
The attack was the deadliest this year against Nigeria’s army which has been battling a decade-long jihadist insurgency in the region that has killed 36,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes.
“We lost 31 soldiers, including their commander who was a lieutenant colonel, in the ambush by the terrorists,” a military officer said about the attack which happened around 1100 GMT.
The convoy was transporting weapons to Maiduguri when it came under attack, said a second military source who gave a similar toll.
The jihadists seized weapons and two MRAPs in the attack before overrunning and partially burning the base outside the town, the two sources said.
Mainok, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Maiduguri, has been repeatedly targeted by the jihadists.