The Boko Haram terrorist militia have continued their attacks in northeastern Nigeria despite the government declaring that the group affiliated with the Islamic State are about to be defeated.
On Tuesday, about 30 fighters from the militia attacked a village in Borno State, where they once had their stronghold, but were quickly repelled by a defense force comprised of villagers and soldiers.
One Boko Haram fighter was killed.
A day earlier, Boko Haram fighters ambushed and killed 12 Nigerian army troops and wounded 20 others who were among a convoy traveling through Borno.
The escalation in fighting, despite Boko Haram losing significant territory, comes as US President Donald Trump has promised his Nigerian counterpart President Muhammadu Buhari to provide military aid to the army.
“President Trump assured the Nigerian president of US willingness to cut a new deal in helping Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism,” a Nigerian presidential spokesman said after the phone call between the two presidents on Monday.
The US has previously avoided directly sending weapons but has provided funds and military training to Nigeria and other West African nations combating Boko Haram.
The US has already dispatched an undisclosed number of “Special Operations” advisors to assist the Nigerian military against Boko Haram.
Last year, US President Barack Obama said that he would boost the number of American military personnel in Nigeria and Cameroon from 90 to 300. The US troops would provide training and logistical support to both the Nigerian and Cameroonian armies.
Boko Haram declared allegiance to ISIL last year. But in recent years it has carried out cross-border incursions in neighboring Cameroon, Mali, and Niger with deadly effect.
But over the past two years, it has come under repeated attacks from the Nigerian, Chadian and Cameroonian armies in recent months.
African nations have launched a combined military effort, sanctioned by the African Union and supported in part by Washington, to destroy the militant group, but Boko Haram still retains significant offensive capabilities to strike at towns in Borno.
Although it has suffered a number of battlefield losses in the past year, Boko Haram has managed to carry out a series of retaliatory suicide bombings targeting markets and mosques.
The Boko Haram leadership wants to impose Islamic Law in the areas it controls.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies