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BORNO: Explosion kills five soldiers in Damasak

FIVE soldiers died after their vehicle hit a mine suspected to have been planted by Islamic State group-aligned jihadists near the border with Niger, security sources said today.

The unit was on a routine patrol in Laayi village near the northeastern town of Damasak on Monday when they drove over a mine, two militia leaders told AFP.

The soldiers set off an improvised explosive device suspected to have been planted by the Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP) group, militia leader Babakura Kolo said.

The explosion “killed all five troops on board”, he said.

The jihadists had attacked the village the previous night, kidnapping four residents including the local chief and planting the explosives while retreating, Kolo said.

The army spokesman had not responded to AFP’s request for comment on the incident.

A second militia leader, Ibrahim Liman, gave the same account and death toll as Kolo.

The militiamen, who fight alongside the military, were not present during the incident but said they were briefed on the matter.

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