At the last count, no less than 30 people, mostly security agents, who were in the convoy of Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, have now died after an attack by Boko Haram terrorists in northeastern Nigeria.
Initial information put the figure at 11 dead. However, two sources told AFP on Saturday that the number of fatalities from the attack on Friday had doubled as more bodies were found. The victims include 12 policemen, five soldiers, four members of a government-backed militia and nine civilians.
Islamic State, to whom a breakaway faction of Nigerian militant group Boko Haram pledged allegiance in 2016 said onits Amaq news agency that 30 police officers and soldiers were killed in the attack on a road leading to the strategic fishing town of Baga in Borno state.
But in a statement on Saturday, Borni state police command said eight police officers and three members of a government-approved militia were killed, and 13 were wounded in the attack around noon on Friday.
Two soldiers, a police officer and a member of the government-approved militia – all speaking anonymously because they were not authorised to speak to journalists- told Reuters at least four soldiers were also killed.
Islamist militants have forced more than 2 million people to flee their homes since 2009 when Boko Haram began an insurgency aimed at creating a state adhering to a strict interpretation of sharia law. Some 30,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
The convoy was taking people back to Baga at the start of an initiative by authorities in Borno to relocate dIsplaced persons to their homes. Borni is the insurgency’s birthplace and the state worst hit by the conflict.
Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) has become a dominant force in the region in recent years, targeting attacks on security forces. Boko Haram has carried out suicide bomb attacks and shooting raids on local residents.