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Islamic State group claims attacks on Nigeria soldiers

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AP) – Dozens of Nigerian soldiers were killed and wounded in recent attacks in Nigeria’s insecure northeast region, according to a statement from the Islamic State (IS) group, which said its West Africa members carried out the assaults.

The attacks using explosives targetted soldiers on patrol at various checkpoints in Borno state, killing and wounding more than 30 soldiers, said the statement on the latest of the attacks released late on Tuesday.

The IS in West Africa Province (ISWAP) is a breakaway faction of the Boko Haram extremist group which launched a rebel insurgency against the Nigerian government more than a decade ago.

Nigeria’s military did not immediately respond to an inquiry for comment to confirm the attacks, but also reported killing “several” extremists and recovering a “large cache of weapons” and vehicles from the militants during “clearance operations” on Monday in Borno state in a location different from where IS said its fighters attacked.

On Tuesday, IS militants targetted a Nigerian army patrol team with four explosive devices followed by mortar shells launched at a military camp in the town of Mallam Fatori, a few kilometres away from Nigeria’s northern neighbour Niger, the group said in one statement.

An explosive device detonated during another ambush resulted in the death of three Nigerian soldiers in Mallam Fatori, it said, while “all those onboard” a military truck were either killed or wounded in yet another ambush on a Nigerian army convoy in Jiri town on the outskirts of Borno.

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