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ISWAP behind attack on soldiers near Abuja – Report

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THE SITE Intelligence Group, an American non-governmental organisation tracking the activities of Jihadist groups, has claimed that the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) carried out the attack on a military checkpoint around Zuma Rock in Niger State, near Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, last Thursday.

At least, one person died when gunmen opened fire on soldiers keeping vigil on the Abuja-Kaduna highway, which has become notorious for kidnapping and banditry.

The attack came barely a week after gunmen suspected to be terrorists ambushed and reportedly killed eight soldiers of the 7 Guards Battalion of the Nigerian Army Presidential Guards Brigade patrolling the Bwari Area Council.


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Before the Bwari attack, ISWAP had claimed responsibility for the offensive on the Correctional Centre in the Kuje area of the city, where the terrorists freed all 64 Boko Haram members at the facility, allowing a total of 879 inmates to escape and killing four inmates and one security operative.

The Nigerian government said the terrorists came with superior firepower.

Since the attack on the correctional facility and the soldiers in Bwari, there has been palpable fear in the nation’s capital, hitherto considered by many as relatively safe since President Muhammadu Buhari took over government on May 29, 2015.

Bombs had gone off repeatedly in the city during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s era, a few years after the deadly Boko Haram began an insurrection against the country in the North-East.

suicide bombing at the Police Headquarters on June 16, 2011, killing, at least, two people and leaving many vehicles in flames, was the first terrorist attack on the country’s capital.

The second onslaught soon followed, killing about 16 persons at the United Nations building on August 26, 2011.

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The attack ripped through the building and forced officials to abandon the premises for a renovation that spanned many years.

Three years after, on April 14, 2014, a bomb-laden vehicle exploded at a bus park in Nyanya, the city’s suburb, killing 71 and injuring 124.

ISWAP, a splinter of Boko Haram, has been shifting base southwards from the North-East, where it has wreaked decade-long havoc, killing thousands, displacing millions and destroying infrastructures. 

A recently leaked memo claimed the terrorists planned to attack Abuja, Lagos, Katsina and three other states.

 

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