Nigeria’s air force announced on Saturday that it had killed more than 70 Islamic State-affiliated fighters in the country’s north, near the border with Niger.
According to the statement, planes from both Nigeria and Niger participated in the operation.
The Lake Chad region, where Nigeria claimed to have conducted airstrikes, is notorious for harbouring members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a terrorist organisation active since 2016.
Together with their elder opponents, Boko Haram, the two factions have killed over 40,000 people in the last decade, and over two million people have been displaced as a result of the continuous bloodshed.
“Missions over the suspected areas… undertaken on 13 April 2022 particularly spotted a big number of terrorists, a potential logistical camp,” claimed Nigerian Air Force spokesperson Edward Gabkwet.
As a response, they carried out airstrikes on Tumbun Rego and a neighbouring training camp on April 14, utilising aircraft from both Nigeria and Niger, he said in a statement.
“More than 70 ISWAP terrorists were either killed or seriously injured,” he claimed.
Nigeria frequently ramps up its attack at this time of year, just before the rainy season begins.
Soldiers have been fighting Islamic insurgents for almost a decade.
ISWAP has mostly taken control from its rival Boko Haram since last year, when its commander Abubakar Shekau was killed in inter-factional combat.
Shekau rose to worldwide prominence after capturing approximately 300 Chibok schoolgirls in 2014.
In addition, government forces are fighting heavily armed gangs in the northwest and separatist unrest in the southeast.