Suspected Boko Haram militants attacked soldiers in a northeastern Nigerian town and a military base in neighboring Niger, which has contributed troops to Nigeria’s fight to retake territory seized by the Islamist fighters.
Boko Haram fighters killed at least four vigilantes Friday in the town of Mafa in Nigeria’s Borno state, which civilians have fled due to frequent attacks, Isa Mohammed, a member of an informal militia that has helped the military battle insurgents in the area, said from the state capital of Maiduguri.
The attack on Niger’s Karamga island base on Lake Chad occurred early Saturday, Niger’s defense ministry said in a state television broadcast. Youram Bocar, a resident of Bosso, the closest town to Karamga, said the assailants came in canoes and inflicted “heavy casualties.” Mop-up operations on the island are continuing, Niger’s defense ministry said in another broadcast Sunday.
The raid on Karamga was the second since Niger’s army joined the Nigerian campaign to recapture areas Boko Haram overran in its effort to create a so-called “caliphate.” Insurgents have killed at least 5,500 civilians since the start of the year, according to Amnesty International. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are living as refugees in neighboring countries and displaced people in their homeland, according to the United Nations.