Islamic State’s West African branch carried out an attack on a Nigerian army base in north-eastern Borno state and its fighters killed 12 soldiers.
A military source put the toll higher, saying up to 25 soldiers were killed after insurgents on trucks mounted with guns attacked the base on Monday. He said fighting lasted for about three hours. A local resident saw the bodies of six dead Nigerian soldiers.
The attack in Gajiram, which the insurgents said the barracks were burned, followed a similar assault on a base last week and suicide bombings that killed 30 people on Sunday. The attacks raise questions about government assertions to have almost defeated the insurgents.
“Twelve Nigerian soldiers were killed and others injured following an attack by Islamic State fighters on their barracks in the northern Nigerian town Gajiram,” Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) said in a statement on the SITE Intelligence website.
A Nigerian army spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The insurgency in north-east Nigeria has killed more than 30,000 and displaced about two million since 2009. President Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected in February after a campaign in which he vowed to improve security.
Buhari, in his second-term inaugural speech this month, said government would provide more support for the security forces in terms of money and equipment.