Militants from the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād, have released pictures of four soldiers including Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu killed by the group during an ambush on troops in Bulguma, Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.
ISWAP had in a statement on Sunday claimed 17 Nigerian soldiers were killed during two attacks on the LGA.
According to the group, 13 soldiers were killed when its fighters attacked troops at a military base in Askira town while four others were killed during an ambush at Bulguma, a few kilometres from Askira.
However, the Islamic terror group on Wednesday released a picture showing four bodies of dead soldiers including that of Brigadier General Zirkusu killed in Bulguma.
Zirkusu, until his death, was the commander of the 28 Task Force in Chibok.
He was said to have mobilised his men to provide reinforcement in Askira, which was under attack but his team was ambushed on their way to provide support for the soldiers battling the insurgents.
The insurgents also displayed a Saurer 4K 4FA armoured tank and Isotrex Phantom 2 APC captured from the army.
The Saurer 4K 4FA is an Austrian armoured personnel carrier with caterpillar tracks while Isotrex Phantom 2 is a new version of the 4×4 B6 armoured personnel carriers. Other than a 5-door configuration, with a 360° gun turret and with two or three escape hatches, the Isotrex Manufacturing allows customers to customize the vehicles for the special client’s needs and requirements.
ISWAP as well displayed photographs of different weapons and ammunition stolen from the military.
SaharaReporters had reported that ISWAP fighters on Saturday engaged Nigerian troops in a gun battle at a military base in Askira, Borno State.
Some civilians had said they sighted the terrorists in a long convoy of gun trucks along Ngude axis towards Askira. The civilians added that they reported the movement of the terrorists to security forces but no action was taken before the deadly group stormed Askira town hours later.
Since the death of JAS leader, Abubakar Shekau, ISWAP has been consolidating its grip in locations around Lake Chad.
The sect’s membership has swollen with the defection of hundreds of Boko Haram fighters under Shekau.
The Nigerian army has repeatedly claimed that insurgency had been largely defeated and frequently underplayed any losses.
In the past months, soldiers have been targeted by the insurgents, who waylay them.
Hundreds of soldiers and officers have been reportedly killed since January 2021.