The Nigerian army regained control of its military base in Marte, in the northeast of the country on Sunday morning after “intense fighting” with the jihadists of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP).
The group claimed responsibility for the attack on Friday evening and still had control of the base on Saturday, before being dislodged by the Nigerian army whose “troops of operation Tura Taka Bango, in coordination with the air force, destroyed seven of the group’s militarised trucks, decimated several terrorists and are still in pursuit” of the terrorists — as per an official statement Saturday evening.
The terrorists have since left the city — as also did thousands of civilians who fled to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state which lies around 130 kilometres away.
A Victory with Losses and Damages
According to military sources speaking on condition of anonymity, the Nigerian army “suffered human and equipment losses.”
A report corroborated by ISWAP itself as per Sunday’s claims of having killed seven soldiers, captured eight, stolen many weapons, ammunition and vehicles and burnt down base barracks.
Another heavy loss suffered by the Nigerian army in recent years against the fighters of ISWAP — an Islamic State-affiliated group and a dissident branch of the Islamist extremist organisation Boko Haram since 2016.
ISWAP has entrenched itself mainly in the Lake Chad area — which is a strategic border region on the borders of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, and both Boko Haram and ISWAP have been spreading terror in north-eastern Nigeria for more than 10 years.
The conflict between the Nigerian armed forces and Boko Haram has taken the lives of 35,000 people and displaced about two million people from their homes since 2009.