At least 82 Boko Haram fighters have been killed in an inter-ethnic clash among the insurgents.
The incident happened in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State.
Local and security sources living in Baga and areas along Lake Chad fringes confirmed the incidents to Daily Trust on Wednesday.
One of the sources said the clash erupted following the killing of seven Boko Haram fighters that belonged to the Buduma tribe.
He said the slain fighters were executed by their commander in Bukkwaram Island, after their failed attempt to surrender to the Nigerian military on Tuesday.
“Their colleagues, whom they confided in, betrayed them and informed their commander of their plan to surrender. They were later intercepted and taken to Bukkwaram Island where the commander sentenced them to death by firing.
“So after killing them, an ethnic crisis broke out among the four tribes of the fighters—Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri and Buduma.
“Some of the fighters of the Buduma ethnic group accused the commander of high handedness, considering how they are losing fighters in the area recently,” the source said.
He said a meeting was summoned, and all the commanders, irrespective of their tribes, reached an agreement that fighters are free to leave the venue to their chosen locations.
“However, one of the commanders, Baduma Bakura, a Buduma by tribe, who arrived at the meeting from Ali Mandula base in Niger Republic, yesterday resisted.
“He said he came to investigate the killing of his brethren and threatened to shoot whoever attempted to leave the venue but in the heat of argument, one of the Fulani fighters shot Buduma dead.
“The fire exchanges raged and 82 fighters were killed. Nobody could tell who Boko Haram or ISWAP fighters among them are. It was purely an ethnic war,” he said.
A security source in the area told our correspondent that most of the fighters that lost their lives were known faces of Boko Haram insurgents that fled from Baga, Doron Baga and Kukawa to Niger Republic and other parts of the Sahel.
“They escaped from the other side of Lake Chad in Niger and returned home, then ethnic conflict erupted.
“It’s still not clear the number of commanders lost in the hostility but it was a great damage on their side, and some of the Buduma fighters that survived the war had even fled to Chad,” he added.