The United States on Thursday donated 24 mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles to Nigeria’s military, to enable the country’s soldiers to combat Boko Haram Islamic insurgents who continued cutting a bloody path through northeast Nigeria.
About 30 people were killed between Monday and Wednesday in Borno state, as Boko Haram gunmen wearing soldiers’ uniforms and female suicide bombers unleashed separate attacks on Izghe, a village 123 kilometers (76 miles) southwest of Maiduguri, the state capital, witnesses said.
Buba Ummate, a survivor, said: “They came in military uniforms and … just started firing there. At least 18 people were killed in that Monday attack, he said.
Ummate said the following day, three female suicide bombers sneaked into Izghe and detonated bombs hidden under their garments, killing seven other people and destroying three houses. A male suicide bomber also blew himself up, killing himself and four other people, said Yusuf DanIzge, who learned of the attack from relatives who live in the community.
A statement from the US Consulate in Lagos said the MRAP vehicles, valued at $11 million, were being handed over on Thursday to assist the West African country with both technical and military hardware to enable it to combat the rising challenges of regional extremism.
Temitayo Famutimi of the US Department of State said: “The equipment donation represents part of the continuing US commitment to Nigeria and its neighbors to counter Boko Haram’s senseless acts of terror and promote regional security.”
The United States also provides advisers, intelligence, training and logistical support to Nigerian military fighting Boko Haram as well as humanitarian aid and victim support services to some of the 2.5 million people driven from their homes by the insurgency.