Insurgents ambushed the convoy of Borno State Governor, Umara Zulum yesterday, September 25, killing 15 security personnel.
Sources said that eight policemen, three soldiers, and four members of a government-backed militia were killed in the attack on vehicles carrying Governor Babagana Umara Zulum near the town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad.
The insurgents opened fire with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades as the convoy was passing through a village close to the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force, a military coalition of troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
“The governor escaped unhurt but 15 security men on the convoy were killed in a fierce battle with the terrorists”, one source said.
Zulum was on an assessment tour of Baga in preparation for the return of thousands of residents displaced from the town by the jihadists in 2014, the sources said.
The governor flew on a helicopter into the garrison town of Monguno, 60 kilometres (40 miles) away, and headed to Baga in a convoy under tight security, one of the sources said.
The IS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group maintains most of its camps on islands in Lake Chad and the region is known as a bastion for the jihadists.
The militant group has recently intensified attacks on military and civilian targets in the region.
In July, Zulum’s convoy came under gun attack from ISWAP outside Baga, forcing him to cancel his trip to the town.
Last week, the group killed a Nigerian army commander along with three soldiers in an ambush near the town of Damboa.
Civilians plying highway linking Monguno and the regional capital Maiduguri said the terrorists set up daily checkpoints, robbing, killing and abducting passengers.