On February 18, Boko Haram(BH) militants in Borno State conducted an ambush on firewood merchants. During the attack, they killed 18 people. This comes as the terrorist group is starting to regain strength and territory in the North of Nigeria. It is unclear what the purpose of this attack was, but it shows that the group has regrown enough in the past year to start conducting large killings.
Several days before this brutal killing, they also sabotaged a bus that was driving between towns in Borno State. During the ambush, they beheaded three of the passengers, whose identities have not been reported on, and took another 12 people captive.
Since January 1, 2019, the separate factions of BH have killed an estimated 190 people in Nigeria. This compares to only 375 people in 2018 as a whole. They have also starting retaking territory in the Northeast State of Borno. Earlier this year, BH retook the town of Rann from Nigerian military control. They also had seized the town of Gudumbali late last year.
This regrowth for the group may lead to increased attack on Christians again, as many of those who had fled in previous years had started moving back to Borno State. If the Nigerian government does not act quickly to end this groups strength building, they might have to fight a BH that rivals its power in its early years.