Fighters of the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād have opened fire on a military helicopter belonging to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
MNJTF is a combined multinational military formation from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
It is headquartered in N’Djamena and is mandated to bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency.
The force is structured in four national sectors: Sector 1 (Cameroon) headquartered at Mora; Sector 2 (Chad) headquartered at Baga-Sola; Sector 3 (Nigeria) based in Baga; and Sector 4 (Niger), based in the town of Diffa.
The militants were said to have used “sophisticated anti-aircraft rifles and GPMG” during the attack on the helicopter last Thursday.
The pilot and the co-pilot who were the only ones onboard however landed the aircraft successfully and were unhurt.
Boko Haram and its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province, have been ferocious in its insurgency.
The Nigerian Army has repeatedly claimed that the insurgency has been largely defeated and it frequently underplays any losses.
Nigeria’s conflict with Islamist insurgencies had killed nearly 350,000 people as of the end of 2020, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said in 2021.