Suspected Boko Haram fighters temporarily occupied two local government areas in northern Borno state from Wednesday, August 21, into the early hours (local time) of Thursday, August 22. The militants started their attack around 17:30 on Wednesday, targeting Gubio and Magumeri. According to conflicting media reports, Nigerian soldiers had withdrawn from the area, allowing the Boko Haram members to occupy the town of Gubio until around 02:00 on Thursday. Militants reportedly looted food, fuel, and medicine before setting some public government buildings on fire. Nigerian military officials issued a statement on August 22, claiming that soldiers successfully repelled the insurgents from the area after an extended engagement. According to military sources, one civilian was killed in the fighting; however, additional casualties have also been reported by local media.
A heightened security presence is expected in the area. Further attacks are possible in Borno state over the near term.
The northeastern region of Nigeria (i.e. the states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa) is highly susceptible to attacks by Islamist militants, including from Boko Haram and Islamic State-West Africa Province (ISWAP). Though Nigerian military forces have pushed insurgents from much of their previously claimed territory, attacks have been on the rise since June 2017.
Individuals in Borno state are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Nigeria remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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