Over 100 Nigerian soldiers killed in militant attacks
Armed groups have killed more than 100 soldiers and captured a huge stock of weapons in clashes in northeast Nigeria since December 26, a report by a group of aid agencies said on Friday.
Attacks had intensified over the past few weeks and forced thousands of people to flee to safer areas in Nigeria and over the border to neighboring Chad, the report said.
The surge has occurred in the run-up to an election on February 16 in which President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking a second term, turning security into a campaign issue.
The attacks have mostly been carried out by a Takfiri-allied faction of militant group Boko Haram.
Nigerian defense ministry and military spokesmen did not immediately respond to requests by Reuters for comment.
The report by the Global Protection Cluster in Chad, a group of aid agencies led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said: “Raids against the Nigerian army have killed more than 100 Nigerian soldiers. According to the information available, the armed groups captured a huge stock of weapons.”
The report said attacks in the Baga-Kawa area of northeast Nigeria on December 26 caused more than 6,357 people to flee into Chad and some 20,000 others to flee to safety within Nigeria.
Last month, a Daesh-related group, which split from Boko Haram in 2016, seized the town of Baga, where a multi-national force fighting the militants is based. Troops later regained Baga.