At least two Nigerian soldiers have been killed following an attack by Boko Haram Takfiri militants in the troubled northeast Nigeria, local residents say. Witnesses and local resident said Tuesday that the deadly assault was carried out in the town of Baga Baga, located in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno. "Boko Haram fired a rocket-propelled grenade on a military van in an ambush in Baga which killed two soldiers and destroyed the vehicle," media outlets quoted local residents as saying.
The attack also triggered a fierce exchange of fire between the Nigerian security forces and heavily armed militants, they added. "Following the attack which killed two soldiers there was a prolonged gun battle between soldiers and the Boko Haram gunmen, which forced the gunmen to flee," the media said. Separately, six soldiers and a civilian vigilante were critically injured when their vehicle hit a mine planted by the militant group in the same troubled region.
Around 150 people were killed in an attack by Boko Haram on Baga in early January. This came after hundreds of Boko Haram militants started the raid on Baga, which is located close to Nigeria’s border with Chad, on January 3 and seized the town and neighboring villages as well as a military base.
The three Nigerian states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, located in Nigeria’s northeastern regions, have been the epicenter of Boko Haram violence which started six years ago.The Nigerian military says it has in recent months regained most of the towns seized by the militants in the three states with the backing of some regional countries. Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” controls parts of northeastern Nigeria and says its goal is to overthrow the government.
The terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly shootings and bombings in various parts of Nigeria, which have left over 13,000 people dead and 1.5 million displaced over the past few years. Boko Haram recently declared allegiance to the ISIL Takfiri group, which is perpetrating heinous crimes against humanity in areas under its control in Iraq, Syria and Libya.