ISWAP uses mines and kills Nigerian civilians

Five Nigerian civilians killed, seven others injured in a landmine explosion
Charles Nwoke, Maiduguri, Nigeria
May 5, 2021 

Image courtesy of regional news, fair use. 

Five Nigerian civilians were on Tuesday killed and seven others injured following when their vehicle hit a landmine outside the town of Rann, near the boundary with Cameroon.

Residents said the vehicle was coming from the town of Gamboru when it hit the landmine at Tumshe village, 10 kilometers from Rann.

“The vehicle exploded. Five people died and seven were critically injured,” a resident, Walid Abdallah said.

Another resident, Ibrahim Umar from Gamboru supported Abdallah’s account when he said, “It was obviously planted by the terrorists to avenge their loss on Saturday,” referring to ISWAP.

A military source said that ISWAP fighters were beaten back when they attacked a military camp in Rann on Saturday, prompting artillery fire from the military forces which hit two terrorists’ trucks while the remaining escaped.

ISWAP split from mainstream Boko Haram in 2016 and became a dominant group in the region, launching attacks on military bases and ambushing troops while abducting travelers at bogus checkpoints.

Since 2019, the army has mostly withdrawn from villages and smaller bases into so-called “super camps,” fortified garrisons meant to give better protection against attacks.

Critics say the strategy has left jihadists with the freedom to roam rural areas unchallenged and made the highways vulnerable to kidnappings and assaults.