9 soldiers die in landmine explosion in Nigeria
At least nine Nigerian soldiers were killed when a military truck hit a landmine in northeast Nigeria, two security sources announced on Wednesday.
The incident happened on Monday close to the town of Malam Fatori on the border with Niger which houses a garrison of soldiers combatting militant groups, the sources, who asked not to be identified, told AFP.
"We lost nine soldiers in the incident," stated the first security source.
The military convoy was transporting food from regional capital Maiduguri, 200 kilometers (130 miles) away, when the vehicle hit the explosive device, the second source commented.
The faction, which has termed itself the West Africa Province (ISWAP) branch of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, is dominant in the Lake Chad region including Malam Fatori where they have been locked in a war with troops from Nigeria and Niger.
"The mine was definitely planted by ISWAP terrorists who operate in the area and against whom soldiers are fighting," announced the second source.
News of the incident was slow to emerge because of lack of communication network as the militants have destroyed telecom infrastructure in the region.
ISWAP split from mainstream Boko Haram militant group some six years ago and rose to turn into a dominant group.
The militants have repeatedly made lethal attempts to overrun the Malam Fatori base.
The group focuses mostly on military targets, raiding bases, laying ambush to troops and planting mines on the roads, although they have more recently been attacking and abducting civilians.
At least 36,000 people have died in the conflict which displaced nearly two million from their homes since 2009.
The violence spread into neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, causing a regional military coalition to fight the militants.