Previously, the gunmen were referred to as bandits.
According to a statement issued on Monday by DHQ spokesman Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyer, the attack on a military base in Sokoto was carried out by ISWAP terrorists.
He confirmed last week that the insurgents are now fully operational in Nigeria’s two northern axes.
ISWAP was also behind the Sunday attack on Tarmuwa, a Yobe town in Babangida LGA.
The terrorists arrived in large numbers via the Gudumbali axis in a large number of gun trucks.
They appeared to be on a mission to raid supply stores and steal food and medicines.
Despite the fact that the residents fled, troops arrived and engaged them in a gun battle for hours before being forced to withdraw.
Terrorists also attacked the Burkusuma military base in Sokoto early Sunday.
“Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, in collaboration with other security agencies, successfully repelled an attack on the Forward Operation Base (FOB) at Burkusuma in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State by suspected Islamic States for West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists and bandits,” Sawyer said in a press statement today.
“The failed attack, which occurred around 5:30 a.m. on September 26, 2021, in a remote border settlement with Niger Republic, was quickly repulsed by troops.
“The aggressive operations of FOB troops seen in recent months in the North West region have been a thorn in the flesh of ISWAP and bandits.
“The attackers arrived in large numbers, taking advantage of a telecom network provided by a neighboring country, and exploited the lean rear area protection force while the main troops were out conducting offensive operations within their area of responsibility.
“However, rapid reinforcement by own troops aided in countering the attack, as many ISWAP fighters were eliminated while others scrambled with varying degrees of injury, resulting in their pursuit to Bassira in Niger Republic.
“Unfortunately, some casualties were recorded on the part of own troops during the encounter.
“Meanwhile, Nigerian and Nigerien forces are currently trailing the remaining ISWAP fighters in a joint operation.
Sawyer concluded, “The general security within the FOB and its environs has been stabilized.”
ISWAP was previously affiliated with the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria.
It split five years ago, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, and the two groups have fought each other as well as Nigerian security forces.
The insurgencies of Boko Haram and ISWAP have spread beyond Nigeria into neighboring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.
According to UN estimates, the 12-year conflict has claimed 300,000 lives and left millions reliant on aid.
Sokoto State is a long way from the Islamist insurgents’ traditional operating area in northeastern Borno State.
Northwestern Nigeria, including Sokoto, has been hit by a wave of mass kidnappings this year, which authorities have blamed on ransom-seeking bandits.
A military crackdown on bandit camps is underway, and Sawyerr suggested a connection between that and the attack on the Burkusuma base, though he did not elaborate.
“The aggressive operations of troops from the Forward Operating Base (at Burkusuma) in recent months in the northwest region have been a thorn in the flesh of ISWAP and bandits,” he s