Boko Haram Seizes 60 ISWAP Fighters, Including Commanders, in Fierce Rivalry

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By Daniel Edu

In a recent development highlighting the intensifying feud within extremist groups, Boko Haram militants have reportedly captured approximately sixty terrorists belonging to the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), which includes prominent ISWAP commanders.

The incident unfolded as ISWAP militants were en route to Damasak in Borno State when they fell into a Boko Haram ambush. Among those apprehended are Abubakar Saddiq, Abou Maimuna, and Malam Idris – all recognized as high-ranking ISWAP commanders.

Lake Chad’s counter-insurgency expert and security analyst, Zagazola Makama, took to social media to reveal that the clash between these rival factions erupted on Monday. The Boko Haram faction, notably the Buduma group, emerged victorious in this latest power struggle, capturing numerous ISWAP-held territories and subsequently driving ISWAP forces to fortified hideouts around Kukawa, Madayi, and Kwatan Mota.

“On August 13, 2023, the Boko Haram faction intercepted about 60 ISWAP terrorists, including three key Commanders, Abubakar Saddiq, Abou Maimuna and Malam Idris, on their way to Damasak,” Makama detailed in a Twitter post.

He further disclosed that these captives were confined in an underground prison located near KWATAN MOTA, adjacent to Dogon Chukwu, and were being held as Prisoners of War.

A subsequent video shared by the security expert exhibited an alleged Boko Haram commander expressing gratitude to his fighters for their triumph over ISWAP forces.

The internal conflict between Boko Haram and ISWAP has escalated dramatically, resulting in significant casualties on both sides. Notably, both factions have pledged to direct their hostilities towards each other, surpassing their opposition against security forces.

ISWAP Conducts Group Funeral for Casualties of Airstrikes

Just a fortnight ago, ISWAP militants organized a mass burial for jihadists who were reportedly neutralized by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the Marte community of Borno State. These terrorists were targeted in a series of airstrikes carried out by the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai on July 29, 2023, in the areas of Jibularam and Kwalaram.

Sources in intelligence circles revealed that the terrorists had congregated in these locations to coordinate assaults against the Nigerian military before NAF aircraft engaged them. The airstrikes resulted in substantial damage to ISWAP assets and a significant loss of life among its members.

Counter-Insurgency Expert and Security Analyst Makama confirmed that the mass interment of these militants transpired on the outskirts of Kwalaram, executed by surviving ISWAP fighters. This incident underscores the escalating tensions and violence within extremist groups in the region.

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