The Nigerian Army says its troops successfully foiled an attack by Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists on surrendered Boko Haram terrorists in Damboa, Borno State, Northeastern Nigeria.
Onyema Nwachukwu, a Brig.-Gen. and Director, Army Public Relations, in a statement issued in Abuja, said the troops of the 25 Task Force Brigade engaged the terrorists with “superior force, forcing them to flee.”
Nwachukwu described the recent terror attack as an attempt to discourage more Boko Haram terrorists from surrendering to Nigerian troops.
“This antic of terror within terror is being employed by ISWAP, to discourage intending surrendering terrorists in their ranks,” he said.
“The latest strategy is not unconnected with the frustration of the group, as top ranking commanders and members denounce violent agitation to embrace peace in recent times. This palpable apprehension might have led ISWAP on Saturday to embark on a mission to annihilate or capture Boko Haram terrorists, who had surrendered in Damboa.”
According to the Nigerian Army, up to 8,000 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered to the government from their hideouts in Sambisa forest and other areas, in the largest wave of defection since the emergence of terrorism in the Northeast.
The defections are linked to the rivalry between ISWAP and Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram, after the terror leader blew himself up following a defeat by the rival faction.
According to a New York Times report, the terrorists who surrendered to the Nigerian Army described themselves as leaderless, without power or weapons to fight, and fearful of being enslaved by the ISWAP.
Neighbors who live near the camp where the terrorists are stationed in some parts of Borno are terrified that ISWAP will attack the camp in a similar way it was done in Damboa.
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