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A Spate of Terrorist Attacks Across Africa: 150 Soldiers Killed in Nigeria and Chad, and a Strategic Port Captured by Militants in Mozambique

On 22 March 2020, at around 0500hrs, in the Boma Peninsula of Lac Province in Chad, Boko Haram militants attacked a Chadian army base, killing 92 soldiers and injuring 47 others. Twenty-four army vehicles were destroyed and large amounts of munitions were captured by militants during the attack. The base was approached on land and in speedboats, and reinforcements were cut off due to militant control of the surrounding rural areas; vehicles coming to assist the embattled base were reportedly also attacked en route. This was the deadliest terrorist incident in Chad in recent history. The attack was claimed by Abubakar Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram (JAS), with images from the attack (on the right) published in a magazine on a JAS Telegram channel.

On 23 March, in the Gorgi area of Borno State, a Nigerian army convoy was targeted with RPG fire by unidentified militants, resulting in the deaths of between 47 and 70 soldiers, as the RPG fire ignited trucks carrying fuel and munitions, causing a large explosion. The militants were allegedly informed of the army’s movements by their local intelligence network. The army convoy was moving towards an Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) base, and the attack is attributed to ISWAP, although it has not been claimed yet.

Finally, on 23 March, at around 0400hrs, Shabaab militants (IS-affiliated group) approached an army base in Mocimboa de Praia, Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique in several boats, opening SAF against the army position. Militants briefly overtook the base and the town before retreating later that night. The area is adjacent to Exxon Mobil and Total natural-gas sites. IS released a video claiming responsibility for the attack on behalf of its Mozambiquan affiliate, alleging that ‘dozens’ of soldiers were killed, and showing munitions allegedly captured in the attack. No official death toll was released. This is the first time an army base was overtaken by militants in Mozambique.