A terror group with links to ISIS has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a motorcade carrying a Nigerian state governor.
Borno State Gov. Kashim Shettima’s motorcade was traveling from the state capital of Maiduguri to a campaign rally in the village of Gamboru when it was ambushed Tuesday night. The Islamic State’s West Africa Province terror group has claimed responsibility, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
Isa Gusau, a media aide for Shettima, told CNN on Thursday that security agencies were investigating the attack that he said killed three people. The terror group claimed that 42 people died in the assault.
Militants ambushed the governor to attract media attention and spread its “propaganda strategy,” Gusau said.
“They (Boko Haram) feed on publicity and they did that to generate attention. So far only three died,” Gusau said.
The Islamic State’s West Africa Province broke away from Boko Haram and forged stronger links with ISIS. The group has staged high-profile attacks in recent months on military bases, killing soldiers and burning villages in northern Nigeria despite claims by the Nigerian army that the group has been technically defeated.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticized for failing to deliver on his campaign promises to end the years-long insurgency that has left thousands displaced in the northeastern part of the West African nation.
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At least 30,000 Nigerians fled villages in Borno State to Cameroon in two days in January in fear of escalating violence by the jihadi group, according to the UN refugee agency.
Buhari told CNN on Wednesday his government was doing its best to fight Boko Haram.
But he conceded that the group was engaging in new tactics to unleash terror in affected areas.
CNN’s David McKenzie contributed to this report.