KANO: Boko Haram jihadists have raided a military base in northeastern Nigeria near the border with Niger, killing several troops and stealing weapons, military sources said Friday.
Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in eight guntrucks launched a pre-dawn attack Thursday on the base in Kareto village, 335 kilometres (210 miles) north of the Borno state capital Maiduguri, they said.“The terrorists attacked the 153 Troops Battalion in Kareto around 4:00 am (0300 GMT) and subdued the soldiers who were forced to withdraw after a hard fight,” an army officer who did not want to be named told AFP.
“We lost several men but we are still working to establish their number. One thing we are sure about is that the base commander, a lieutenant colonel, was among those killed,” he said. He said the insurgents ransacked the base and carted away weapons and vehicles.
The Islamists “took troops by surprise” while they were working to fix communications equipment that had been destroyed in a rainstorm, said another officer, who also sought anonymity.
The troops could not seek support from two nearby bases because of the faulty equipment, he said.
Search and rescue teams were combing the area for missing soldiers and dead bodies, they added.