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Six killed in Nigeria by land mine planted by suspected jihadists

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AFP Kano (Nigeria)
Six people were killed when their car hit a land mine in northeast Nigeria's conflict-torn Borno state, civilian militia sources told AFP.
The commercial vehicle on Thursday unknowingly struck the explosive, suspected to have been planted by jihadists targeting military patrols outside Kamuya village, southwestern Borno.
"The car was heading to the state capital Maiduguri when it hit the landmine around 9:00 am (0800 GMT) and killed all six people on board," civilian militia leader Mustapha Karimbe said.
"The mine was no doubt planted by ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province) which was from all indication targeted at soldiers but civilians ended up being the victims," said another civilian militia member, Musa Ari.
The jihadists were believed to have been fighters of the IS-affiliated ISWAP which has been active in the region.
Shortly afterwards on Thursday afternoon, suspected ISWAP fighters ambushed a commuter bus in the nearby Maza village, abducting 10 passengers, the militia said.
"Ten passengers in the bus were taken into the bush by the insurgents," Karimbe said.
Kamuya is the home village of Nigeria's army chief Lieutenant-General Yusuf Tukur Buratai and has been repeatedly targeted by jihadists.
At least one soldier was killed and three others injured last month when suspected ISWAP fighters ambushed a military convoy outside Kamuya.
In January six soldiers were killed and 14 injured when ISWAP sacked a base in Kamuya village, stealing weapons and burning military vehicles.
After splintering from Boko Haram in 2016, ISWAP has focused on targeting military patrols and bases, as well as abductions. The two jihadist groups have competed in the region, deepening the conflict.
The original Boko Haram faction remains notorious for indiscriminate attacks on civilians and abductions.
However in recent times there has been an increase in attacks on civilians blamed on ISWAP.
The decade-long insurgency has killed 35,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in the northeast.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 4:37 AM IST

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