Armed ViolenceNews

Nigerian Troops Thwart Twin ISWAP Attacks, Kill Fighters In Damboa

On Tuesday, October 27, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters launched a fresh attack on the Garrison town of Damboa, Borno State, Northeast Nigeria. The attack is the second in two days.

The group had launched an attack on the town on Sunday, October 25, but were repelled by troops. It also attacked the town two weeks earlier.

HumAngle learnt that the military has sent a reinforcement of troops to take charge of the situation but the details of the attack are yet unknown.

Damboa is located in the southern part of Borno State, the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, and close to the dreaded Alagarno forest. The Local Government headquarters is 87km from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

More than half of the population in Damboa are internally displaced persons and nearly all need humanitarian assistance.

HumAngle learned that on Sunday, ISWAP suffered multiple casualties and lost combat equipment after about three hours of battle with Nigerian troops, who were supported by relentless air bombardment of ISWAP targets.

Two weeks ago, Damboa suffered an attack by the insurgents, which resulted in deaths and loss of properties.

On Sunday, September 20, troops of the 25 Task Force Brigade, Damboa, encountered ISWAP fighters in an ambush which led to the medical evacuation and death of the Brigade Commander, Col. Dahiru Bako

On Wednesday last week, several fighters were killed when ISWAP launched an attack on a military contingent in Magumeri.

The local government is about 50km from Maiduguri and the area has witnessed a surge in attacks on troops and the civilian population.

According to a source familiar with the area, Magumeri is important to the terrorist group for the movement of logistics and supplies.

The escalation of attacks in the town comes after an attempt by troops to return after an initial withdrawal.

The plan of government troops to return follows the decision of the military in 2019 to establish super camps and curb the sustained breach of military bases in frontline towns, including a daring May 2019 attack on the military in Magumeri.

The Nigerian Army launched a subsidiary ‘Operation Fireball’ to target insurgents in the dreaded Timbuktu triangle – Sambisa Forest, Mandara Mountains and the Lake Chad region.

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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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One Comment

  1. Movement is easier now with the onset of the hamattan season. This is usually the period of escalation in the activities of insurgents. The military should organise and seize the initiative now, or they would be forced into just retaliatory action for the rest of the season.

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