Armed ViolenceNews

Nigerian Terror Attack Reveals Modification Of Battle Trucks Capabilities

ISWAP’s ability to capture, modify, and utilise weapons and vehicles poses risks to security forces in the region.

The attack on the Northeastern town of Buni Yadi demonstrates the growing threat from ISWAP’s modification of battle trucks using captured armaments.

The recent photosets from the terror group showing the Nov. 30 attack in Buni Yadi included two modified battle trucks mounted with  OTO Melara 105mm Pack Howitzer and cannon removed from BMP-1 tracked infantry fighting vehicle previously captured from the Army.

Image of ISWAP battle truck mounted with cannon from BMP-1

The pickup trucks are mounted with heavy machine guns such as the W85/NSV/ DShK/Type 85/dual KPV and other weapons, including the SPG-9 recoilless gun.

HumAngle had reported that the ISWAP incursion in the town led to fierce clashes between the insurgents and the military before the arrival of air support and subsequent withdrawal of the insurgents.

The images, which also showed the raid on a police facility in Buni Yadi, illustrate ISWAP’s truck modifications to support different calibres of weapons.

In a previous report, HumAngle noted the group’s use of improvised armoured carriers, captured military armoured vehicles and light pickup trucks. 

In November, ISWAP released images of the attack on the Damboa area of Borno state that included another pick-up truck fitted with cannon removed from a BMP-1 and an up-armoured improvised carrier. 

Similarly, in November, Nigerian troops in Askira Uba captured an improvised carrier that looked similar to Damboa. The vehicle had an armour section from a previously captured Nigerian Army Panhard VBL Recce vehicle. 

During the same month, ISWAP revealed an image of a 122mm D-30 howitzer mounted on a heavy-duty truck. The mobile artillery was reported to have been deployed against security forces positions. 

In June, a distinct looking improvised armoured carrier built on presumably a light-truck chassis appeared in ISWAP photos, of an attack in the Gujba area of Yobe State.

In July, a pickup truck-mounted with a type 63 multiple rocket launcher system (MLRS), likely looted from the neighbouring Niger Republic, surfaced in ISWAP propaganda.

In April 2020, ISWAP shared a picture of a camouflage painted pickup truck fitted with four captured Grad 122mm rocket launcher tubes.  

The 122mm Grad rockets are usually employed on the BM-21 and the RM-70 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) trucks in NA stock. 

Apart from the stripping of armoured vehicles to support modifications on light trucks, tgroup has stepped up the use of armoured vehicles in attacks, thereby aggravating the threat to security forces. 

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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