In a bloody retaliation after losing more than 56 fighters to the Iswap group, Boko Haram terrorists on Tuesday attacked a special location of their rivals, killing 55 people including 33 wives of Iswap members.
The incident happened in Sambisa forest in North East Borno state where Boko Haram and Iswap terrorists have been digging in against the Nigerian troops in a bid to acquire and control territories.
The Boko Haram fighters killed the women to avenge the deaths of their members including a notorious commander, Malam Aboubakar (Munzir), in renewed fighting on December 3, 2022.
Since December 3, Ali Ngulde, a top Boko Haram leader in charge of Mandara Moutain, has led hundreds of fighters armed with weapons from Mandara Mountain to wage war against the Iswap in Sambisa Forest.
The attack began with a failed negotiation initiated by the Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād (Boko Haram) terrorist group, in which they indicated to the Islamic State of West African Province (Iswap), that they were ready to surrender themselves to the IS/Iswap leadership.
Staged an ambush
Sources reported on Tuesday that unknown to the Iswap group, Ngulde and his team had staged an ambush against them in which at least 12 of their members were killed in Yuwe while others escaped with bullet wounds.
In the aftermath of the encounters, Boko Haram members seized four Toyota Hilux trucks mounted with weapons belonging to their rivals and burnt another.
Shortly after the victory, the Boko Haram insurgents mobilised more fighters to attack more Iswap positions in Ukuba, Arra, Sabil Huda and Farisu, killing about 23 more fighters.
A few hours later, a top Iswap leader, Ba'ana Chingori, called for a declaration of war and led a column of fighters in reprisal attacks on the Boko Haram in Farisu.
In the ensuing attack, Iswap killed 15 Boko Haram terrorists including Munzir, a unit commander, and seized seven motorcycles from them.
The Iswap group later retreated and took position at the Izzah camp. They then moved to Garin Abbah, about two kilometres away to wait for the Boko Haram.
But instead of going to fight the Iswap, the Boko Haram elements made a detour and headed to where wives of Iswap fighters were and killed 33 of them.
Mr Zagazola Makama, a counter insurgency expert and security analyst in the Lake Chad, reported that that the clash began in the camp of Yuwe, which triggered heavy fire fight which is still raging.
Fighting between the rivals terrorist groups continued on Tuesday with the Nigerian Army observing the situation.
This is one of the deadliest rivalry attacks between terrorists since 2021 when the main Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was killed.
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters says troops under Operation Hadin Kai have eliminated more than 44 terrorists, apprehended 47 and their collaborators and rescued 10 kidnap victims in north east Nigeria.
The Director of Defence Media Operations Maj-Gen Musa Danmadami said in Abuja at the bi-weekly update that the troops killed Boko Haram and Iswap terrorists in ambushes, raids and clearance operations in different locations.