Six soldiers were killed in an ambush by rebel fighters in northeast Nigeria’s Borno State, according to two military sources who spoke to AFP news agency.
Heavily armed fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group opened fire on a patrol vehicle on Wednesday near Jakana, 30km from the state capital Maiduguri, killing all the soldiers on board.
The military sources said that the soldiers were on their way to Maiduguri from Damaturu, the capital of neighbouring Yobe state, when the rebels attacked them at around 16:20 GMT.
Following the ambush, the fighters attacked a military base just outside Jakana in seven trucks fitted with machine guns, engaging troops in an hour-long battle, the sources said.
The attack was repelled by soldiers at the base, with ISWAP fighters abandoning weapons and one vehicle as they fled.
The attacks came hours after a military chief in the northeast warned “terrorists” in the region to disarm or be destroyed.
Major-General Abdulmalik Bulama Biu told reporters in Maiduguri that rebel fighters should lay down their arms “or prepare for a fierce encounter with me”.
In December last year, at least 13 soldiers were killed in an ISWAP ambush near Kareto village along the highway.
The rebels have also carried out several attacks on motorists on the highway, killing passengers and burning vehicles.