Several killed in fighting between Boko Haram factions in Nigeria

Whatapp News

Intense gunfire between two rival jihadist groups in northeast Nigeria has left several fighters dead, two sources with close knowledge of the incident told AFP on Monday.

Fighters in pickup trucks from a Boko Haram faction loyal to Abubakar Shekau stormed a camp belonging to rival IS-aligned Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), resulting in a fierce gunbattle that caused several fatalities, the sources said.

The Boko Haram jihadists attacked the camp in Sunnawa village in Abadam district near the border with Niger to reclaim their women seized by ISWAP fighters in an earlier raid on their camp across the border in Niger.

Details of the clashes which happened on Wednesday were slow to emerge due to limited telecom services in the remote region.

“It was a deadly fight that left several fighters on both sides dead,” said the first source, while the other source said both sides suffered substantial losses as “the fighting was intense.”

ISWAP militants had earlier raided a Boko Haram camp in the Diffa region of neighbouring Niger where they kidnapped 13 women.

Boko Haram traced the women to Sunnawa in Lake Chad area which is under ISWAP control and decided to “extricate” them, said the second source.

“The operation didn’t succeed, the women are still in the hands of their captors,” he said.

ISWAP broke away from Boko Haram in 2016 with IS-support in part due to its rejection of indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

The group has focused attacking soldiers and military installations although it has increasingly been targeting civilians since its takeover in 2018 by more hardline fighters who deposed its leader and executed his deputy.

Since the split the two factions have been locked in deadly skirmishes which saw ISWAP winning over Boko Haram fighters and territories controlled by Shekau.