“State of West Africa” attacks


Islamic State claimed responsibility for five attacks in an area it calls the “State of West Africa” it said resulted in 118 casualties in the past week, according to a video posted on its account on messaging website Telegram.

The militant group, which typically uses the “State of West Africa” to refer to Nigeria, made the claim in a video presentation of attacks it carried out between November 16 and 22. It did not specify the number of people killed, referring only to 118 casualties.

Five security sources told Reuters more than 100 soldiers were killed in recent attacks in Nigeria, one of the highest death tolls since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in 2015. It could raise pressure on him ahead of an election in February since he claimed victory over the nine-year insurgency.

Sources said insurgents attacked a military base in Metele in north-eastern Borno state, the epicentre of a revolt by Boko Haram and splinter group Islamic State in West Africa.

Islamic State said it attacked an army base in Metele and killed at least 40 Nigerian soldiers. The group said it burned down the base after the attack.

A Nigerian presidency spokesman said the military would issue a statement and military spokesmen did not respond to requests for comment. Government and the military often decline to acknowledge the scale of losses in the north-east.