On Monday, January 8, Nigerian military forces killed dozens of Boko Haram militants in multiple skirmishes in Borno state. Nigerian troops reportedly cleared the villages of Metele, Tumbun Gini, and Tumbun Ndjamena of Boko Haram fighters on Monday, killing at least 57 militants.
Also on Monday, Boko Haram militants launched a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack on a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle deployed in the operation in the Sambisa Forest, killing at least three soldiers and a civilian joint task force member, and wounding nine other soldiers. Boko Haram militants may launch additional retaliatory attacks on Nigerian security forces and public sites in Borno state in the coming weeks.
The ongoing Nigerian military operation against Boko Haram, named Operation Deep Punch, is targeting militants in the Sambisa Forest and near Lake Chad.
The counterinsurgency effort against Boko Haram that began in 2015, led by West African states (Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger), has greatly diminished the extent of the group's effective territorial control. However, Boko Haram still routinely carries out deadly terrorist attacks, particularly in the northeastern region of Nigeria. Boko Haram frequently attacks private homes in villages, public venues (markets, places of worship, schools, bars, areas where broadcasts of sports competitions are displayed, etc.), security forces, and governmental buildings. The group's modus operandi frequently includes suicide bombings and kidnappings (regularly followed by assassinations and targeting primarily foreign nationals).
Individuals in Borno state are advised to remain vigilant, report all suspicious objects and behavior, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
The security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly concerning in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Some Western governments consequently advise against travel to certain areas of the northeast (e.g. states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Jigawa as well as parts of Kano and Adamawa states) and the southern Niger Delta region (e.g. states of Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers). Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to these areas.