At least 70 Nigerian soldiers were killed in a jihadist ambush, military and security sources said on Tuesday.
Insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades at a truck carrying troops as it moved near the village of Gorgi, in Borno state, on Monday, two military officers told AFP without giving their names. .
“It was a huge loss, at least 70 soldiers died in the ambush,” said one of the officers.
“The terrorists specifically targeted a truck loaded with soldiers with RPGs and cremated the vehicle, killing everyone on board,” said a second officer.
“So far, 70 bodies have been recovered, but the toll is certainly more than that, since the rescue operations are still under way.”
Several soldiers were injured and others captured by jihadists, said the two officers.
A Nigerian army spokesman told AFP that he was unable to comment on the reported attack.
The convoy had left the regional capital Maiduguri en route to launch an offensive against a camp belonging to jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State group in the region, said a member of a militia supported by the government and fighting the insurgents. .
The West African Islamic State faction separated from the Boko Haram insurgents in 2016 and focused on attacking troops, base raids and ambush on military convoys .
The group was accused of escalating attacks against civilians and taking hostages at false checkpoints on the region’s main roads.
The decade-long conflict has killed 36,000 people and displaced 1.8 million people in north-eastern Nigeria.
The fighting also spilled over into neighboring countries, prompting the formation of a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.