On Saturday, Boko Haram militants killed 17 herders and stole their livestock in Borno state, northeastern Nigeria, two leaders of the government-formed self-defense militia told AFP Monday.
The sources said that the fighting broke out when militants attacked a group of shepherds grazing their livestock in a grazing field near the village of Irman in Mafa district.
“Seventeen herders were killed in these battles and all their cattle were taken by Boko Haram militants who launched the attack,” said militia leader Babakura Kolo.
“The shepherds tried to resist, but the attackers outnumbered them, who had better weapons,” Kolo added.
These jihadists launched the attack from their camps in the nearby Jajijana forest.
This is where Boko Haram fighters have taken refuge after being largely driven from their stronghold, the Sambisa Forest, by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and the Nigerian army, said militiaman Ibrahim Liman, who presented the attack. Same evaluation.
Iswap was born out of a split with Boko Haram in 2016. It is affiliated with ISIS, and has become the dominant jihadist group in northeastern Nigeria since rival Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was killed in May 2021 in a clash with Iswap militants.
Boko Haram and ISWAP are increasingly targeting civilians, including loggers, farmers and herders, whom they accuse of spying for the army and local militias fighting them.
However, pastoralists who agree to graze in jihadist-controlled territory after paying taxes are not generally attacked.
The conflict that began 13 years ago in northeastern Nigeria between the authorities and jihadists has claimed 40,000 lives and forced two million more to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.
Faced with widespread insecurity, including a jihadist insurgency in the northeast, Nigerians will elect on February 25 a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, who will not run for re-election after two terms, as stipulated in the constitution.
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