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Jihadists continued to target civilians and military in north east, while criminal violence persisted in north west and centre, spreading closer to capital Abuja. In north-eastern Borno state, suspected jihadists 1 Sept attacked army post in Magumeri town, killing at least ten soldiers; 6, 15 and 17 Sept launched several attacks on civilians, killing at least 24; and 25 Sept attacked state governor’s convoy near Baga town, reportedly killing up to 30. Meanwhile, in continued fight against jihadists, army 14 and 18 Sept killed 20 insurgents near Borno state capital Maiduguri and in neighbouring Yobe state’s Bade village; 20 Sept killed “scores” of insurgents after they ambushed and killed army colonel near Damboa town same day; 24-25 Sept launched airstrikes in several areas of Borno, leaving unknown number of insurgents dead. In north west, bandits and other criminal groups continued attacks and kidnappings, killing eight civilians and two police officers and abducting at least 44 civilians in Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna states 14-27 Sept. Military 13-17 Sept reportedly killed several armed group members in airstrikes in Zamfara state’s Birnin-Magaji area and Maru town; 24 Sept killed 21 unidentified gunmen in Faskari area, Katsina state, but lost three soldiers including army colonel. Insecurity persisted in Middle Belt in centre. In Niger state, unidentified gunmen 2-4 Sept killed at least 23 civilians and abducted 53 others in several villages in Rafi, Rijau and Shiroro areas. Security concerns increased around federal capital Abuja. Unidentified gunmen 10 Sept kidnapped at least ten residents in Tungan Maje village, Federal Capital Territory. In neighbouring Nasarawa state, unidentified gunmen 14 Sept ambushed federal road safety agency convoy on Mararaban-Udege axis, killing two officers and kidnapping ten.
Jihadist and criminal violence continued in north east and north west, and herder-farmer tensions persisted in many states. In Borno state in north east, Boko Haram (BH) and BH faction Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) attacks continued despite airstrikes by govt forces, which left dozens of insurgents killed 11-17 Aug notably on Lake Chad islands and in Sambisa forest. Suicide bomber 2 Aug killed herself and two others in Konduga town. Suspected ISWAP 10 Aug reportedly killed 13 civilians and several soldiers in Magumeri and Kukawa towns. After ISWAP 18 Aug again attacked Kukawa town, local sources reported they took hundreds hostage, while military said troops thwarted attack, killing eight insurgents and losing three soldiers. In Nasarawa state, near capital Abuja, troops 26 Aug raided camp of little-known Islamist group Darul Salam in Toto area; military reported over 400 group members surrendered, and troops seized artisanal explosive device-making factory and assault weapons. In north west, security operations against armed groups killed at least 25 and curbed attacks in some areas; but raids on villages continued, particularly in southern Kaduna state, leaving 33 killed in Zango Kataf area 6-8 Aug, and 11 others in Zango Kataf, Kajuru and Kachia areas 16-19 Aug. In Katsina state, gunmen 9 Aug abducted several women in Kurfi area. In Niger state, armed group 12 Aug killed 15 civilians in Ukuru village, Mariga area. Concerns over jihadist groups forging links with armed groups in North West continued. Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command Africa 5 Aug warned against “al-Qaeda starting to make some inroads” there. Amid persistent tensions between herders and farmers and other communal violence in many states, prominent Fulani herders’ group 13 Aug accused community vigilantes of killing 68 Fulani civilians in Kebbi state 29 April-11 Aug, warned “large conflict” was looming. In alleged fallout from long-running chieftaincy-related dispute, gunmen 10 Aug killed at least 13 in Edikwu village, Benue state.
Jihadists resumed attacks on Borno state capital in north east, armed groups inflicted heavy toll on army in north west, and attacks on farming communities spiked in Middle Belt. In Borno state in north east, insurgents 2 July shot UN helicopter near Damasak town, prompting UN to pause humanitarian flights to review risk assessments. Suspected Boko Haram faction Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) 7-16 July killed about 50 soldiers, including 37 in ambush along Maiduguri-Damboa highway 7 July. Troops 13 July repelled first insurgents’ attack in state capital Maiduguri in several months, and 19 July repelled ISWAP attack on army’s super camp in Damasak town, killing eight ISWAP commanders. ISWAP same day killed five humanitarian workers abducted in June. Insurgents 30 July fired four rocket-propelled explosives into Maiduguri killing seven, in second major security breach of city long considered beyond insurgent’s reach. In north west, military reported 80 armed men killed in operations 1-31 July, while armed groups continued attacks mainly in Katsina and Zamfara states. In Katsina, unidentified gunmen 6 July killed at least 25 in Yar Gamji village in Batsari area; first explosive device attack in Katsina 18 July killed seven children in Yammama village, Malumfashi area; armed group same day ambushed army unit in Jibia area, inflicting heavy toll on military by killing at least 23 soldiers; 20 July abducted seventeen women in Zakka town, Safana area. In Zamfara, armed group 6 July stormed Danfana village, Maru area, killing seven and abducting 20. Air force 9, 20 and 23 July bombed armed groups’ hideouts in Zamfara state forest, killing unspecified numbers. With armed groups deploying increasingly sophisticated weapons, army 10 July reported growing indications of connections between them and jihadist groups. Intercommunal violence and attacks on farming communities flared in Middle Belt, killing dozens. In southern part of Kaduna state, armed attacks on farming communities 9-24 July killed over 70 residents in Kaura, Kajuru, Kauru and Zangon Kataf areas. In Benue state’s Logo area, unidentified assailants 10 July killed seven in Chembe village. In other communal violence, unidentified gunmen 29 July killed fourteen at Agbudu village, Kogi state.