Suspected Daesh-linked militants have killed more than two dozen soldiers and a number of civilians in an ambush in northeast Nigeria, in the second deadly attack on the army this week.
The militants, suspected to be members of the Boko Haram terrorist organization, killed at least 25 soldiers and an unspecified number of civilians in the ambush in Borno state on Saturday.
Sources said the militants opened fire as the soldiers were escorting a group of evacuees from a village in the state.
"They ambushed and surrounded the vehicles of both the soldiers and the civilians and opened fire on them," one source told Reuters news agency.
"They exchanged fire for some minutes before the Boko Haram militants overpowered the soldiers."
The soldiers were reportedly evacuating villages in the region to carry out operations against Boko Haram.
Earlier this week, Daesh terrorists stormed the town of Gajiganna, also in Borno state, killing about a dozen soldiers.
The group which calls itself the West Africa province (ISWAP) branch of Daesh has launched repeated attacks in Nigeria in recent months after sustaining heavy losses in its Iraq and Syria strongholds.
ISWAP and Boko Haram made an alliance in 2015 before separating in 2016. However, there are reports the two groups were making efforts to get back together.
Last month, Nigeria's army chief warned that the two groups aimed to carve out a Takfiri enclave stretching from Nigeria’s northeast into the wider Lake Chad region.
Boko Haram militants have been fighting government forces for about a decade.
Since 2009, attacks by Boko Haram terrorists have left at least 27,000 dead and made over 2.6 million others homeless.
Boko Haram’s sphere of activities spreads as far as neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
These countries have created a joint military force to stop the terrorists from further spreading, but sustained efforts to eradicate the militants have failed and the military continues to suffer heavy losses.
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