13 Nigerian soldiers wounded, others missing after Boko Haram clashes

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Thirteen Nigerian soldiers were wounded in clashes with the Islamist militant group Boko Haram and others are missing, the army said on Tuesday.

(FILES)-- A file of a screengrab taken on October 2, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and obtained by AFP shows the leader of the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened Cameroon in a message on the video-sharing site YouTube, warning that the same fate would befall the country as neighbouring Nigeria. The video, which was posted on January 5, 2015, is directly addressed to Cameroon's President Paul Biya after repeated fighting between militants and troops in the country's far north. "Oh Paul Biya, if you don't stop this, your evil plot, you will taste what has befallen Nigeria... Your troops cannot do anything to us," Shekau said in Arabic. AFP PHOTO / BOKO HARAM = RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / BOKO HARAM" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS =-/AFP/Getty Images

Army spokesman Sani Usman said the clashes took place at Gashigar, a town in the northeast’s Borno state, near the border with Niger.

“The troops did their best to defend the location in vain. In the process, 13 soldiers sustained injuries while some are still missing in action,” said Usman. He did not say how many were missing.

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Islamic State (IS), to which the Nigerian jihadists have pledged allegiance, said on Twitter that a total of 20 soldiers from Nigeria and neighbouring Niger had been killed and many others were wounded. Usman denied this.

Boko Haram has waged a seven-year insurgency in a bid to create a caliphate in the northeast where a strict interpretation of Islamic laws would be observed. During that time 15,000 people have been killed and two million displaced.

It controlled a swathe of land in northeast Nigeria about the size of Belgium at the end of 2014.

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The Nigerian army, aided by troops from neighbouring countries, has, since early last year recaptured most of that territory. But the group still stages suicide bombings in the northeast, as well as in neighbouring Niger and Cameroon.

Divisions within Boko Haram were exposed in August when a new leader of the group was announced by IS only for Abubakar Shekau, the Nigerian jihadist’s traditional figurehead, to reject the move in statements circulated on social media.

Two factions of Boko Haram — one loyal to IS and the other loyal to Shekau — are based in northeast Nigeria.

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2 thoughts on “13 Nigerian soldiers wounded, others missing after Boko Haram clashes

  1. The troops were chased out of a location......pure and simple. Boko-haram is still launching offensive attacks from all indications contrary to what the Army want Nigerians to believe, this is really disgraceful.

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