The Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) on Sunday claimed responsibility for the attack and killing of three Policemen at a Police station in Adavi, Okene Local Government Area (LGA) of Kogi State, Northcentral Nigeria.
The terrorists had invaded the Police station in the early hours of Saturday.
Kogi State is less than 90 kilometres from Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. ISWAP and other terrorists groups have also been operating in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) neighbouring State of Niger and parts of Nasarawa State.
William Aya, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Kogi State, said the terrorists, who struck from opposite direction, shot sporadically.
Confirming that the Police Command lost three of its officers during the gun duel, Aya said the terrorists fled with gunshot wounds as they could not get access to the station.
He said the State’s Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, has deployed a team of tactical operatives in the area to restore normalcy.
A report monitored in Voice of America (VOA) said ISWAP released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack.
According to the VOA report, “the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility in a statement on Telegram. ‘Soldiers of the Caliphate attacked a police station,'” adding that five people were killed in the raid.”
Although there is a high level of insecurity in Kogi, where bandits and kidnappers have been operating in recent months, the State is not known for ISWAP attacks, as the sect operates mainly in the North East.
ISWAP had also claimed responsibility for a bomb attack which killed Taraba residents last week.
Earlier in the month, Jihad Analytics, a consultancy company which processes data on global and cyber jihad, said Nigeria now has the highest number of attacks by the Islamic State (IS).
According the report, half of the attacks claimed by IS since the beginning of 2022 were in Africa, while ISWAP, an affiliate of IS, is now more active in Nigeria.
Data by Jihad Analytics showed that while Nigeria has recorded a total of 162 IS operations since January 2022, Iraq has recorded 120.
“For the first time in the history of the jihadi group, Iraq is no longer the country where #IS claims the highest number of operations: the group #ISWAP is now more active in Nigeria,” it said.
In 2015, the late Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, pledged allegiance to IS, whose fighters killed him six years after.
The attack on Kogi police station happened 48 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari charged security agencies to be tougher on groups behind the attacks across the country.