“Islamic extremists in Nigeria have begun using drones, the country’s president says, opening a worrying new front in the region’s nearly decade-long fight against Boko Haram and an offshoot linked to the Islamic State. President Muhammadu Buhari announced the development during a meeting on Thursday of countries that contribute troops to a multinational force combatting the extremists. This appears to be the first confirmed use of drones by an extremist group in Africa, according to the World of Drones project run by the Washington-based New America think tank. Its section on non-state actors notes that Libyan rebels are reported to have used drones for surveillance in that chaotic North African nation. Deadly attacks against Nigeria’s military are on the rise, with 39 soldiers killed this month alone and another 43 wounded. The extremists’ use of drones for surveillance in the country’s northeast has proven to be a ‘critical factor’ in the resurgence of attacks, the president said.”
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