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Daesh claims attack in Nigeria that killed 7 soldiers

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo of Nigerian soldiers

Daesh has claimed responsibility for an attack in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state, which left seven Nigerian soldiers dead.

The Takfiri terrorist group made the announcement on social media on Saturday in a statement posted on an affiliated Telegram account.

Seven Nigerian soldiers were killed in the attack on Friday, including a commanding officer and a lieutenant, Reuters reported, citing a military source and two residents.

Militants from Daesh’s offshoot in the region, ISWAP, attacked a military outpost in Rann, in Kala Balge local government area of the state, firing sporadically for an hour from three trucks. When the shooting stopped, the Nigerian soldiers went into the town, where they were attacked in an ambush, the sources said.

On Saturday, suspected ISWAP militants also fired two rockets at the northeast city of Maiduguri, the largest city of Borno state, hitting two homes near the airport and an air force base.

ISWAP and Boko Haram have previously launched deadly rocket attacks targeting Maiduguri.

"I was inside when I heard the first explosion and I instinctively looked out the door to see what was happening," resident Idris Muhammad told AFP by phone. "Shortly after a second rocket flew over my house before hitting the second house at Gomari," he said.

"No one was hurt in both houses as the rockets fell on vacant parts of the houses."

Kyari Ali, who lives in a street where the house was hit by the second rocket in the Gomari Airport neighborhood, said it destroyed a section of the house. "Luckily, there was no one in the affected part when the rocket landed," said Ali, who visited the house.

Security officials were yet to comment on the attack.

Residents told AFP that they suspected Daesh to be behind the attack as the group is consolidating its influence since the death of Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader.

The Nigerian military has fought a militancy in northeastern Nigeria for more than 12 years, launched by Boko Haram and joined later by ISWAP. The United Nations estimates that some 350,000 people have been killed in the conflict. 

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