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Nigerian Army confirms death of Colonel, Captain, three soldiers

Nigerian Army authorities on Friday confirmed the killing of a Colonel, a Captain and three soldiers by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno.

The Deputy Director, Public Relations, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Isa Ado, gave the confirmation in a statement in Abuja.

He said the incident occurred on Wednesday in Jakana area of Borno, adding that the officers and soldiers were on transit from Maiduguri to Damaturu when they ran into an ambush by the terrorists.

Mr Ado, a colonel, however, said that troops of 212 Battalion deployed at Forward Operating Base (FOB), Jakana, dealt with the insurgents.

He said that Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists tried to infiltrate the military base to garner logistics but were repelled by the troops.

According to him, the terrorists came at about 6.45PM in seven Gun Trucks and fought fiercely to infiltrate the camp, but the attack was thwarted with heavy fire and bombardment by troops.

“The terrorists could not withstand the fire power of the troops after losing significant number of equipment and personnel in an exchange of fire.

“They lost initiative and withdrew in disarray along Benisheikh-Damaturu axis and abandoned a damaged utility gun truck which was earmarked to convey looted items.

“Troops immediately followed in hot pursuit and captured one anti-aircraft gun, two Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) Tubes, two AK 47 Rifles, 15 machine gun rounds and 12 AK47 NATO rounds.

“Sadly, a Colonel and a Captain as well as three soldiers on transit from Maiduguri to Damaturu ran into an ambush staged by the fleeing terrorists from the Jakana axis, which led to their unfortunate death,” Mr Ado said.

He said that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Tukur Buratai, had commiserated with the families of the fallen heroes.

The spokesman also said that Buratai had reiterated that the army would never be deterred in the ongoing “noble and patriotic fight against terrorism and insurgency in the North-East’’.

According to him, Mr Buratai commended the efforts of the entire troops in the theatre and charged them to remain focussed, highly committed and professional in the discharge of their constitutional roles.

“The sacrifices of the fallen heroes in the ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency is no doubt painful to all.

“But, that will further spur us to do more to ensure that our country remain secure, peaceful and free from terrorist activities for the overall interest of the nation,” he quoted Buratai as saying. (NAN)

The military has avoided announcing own casualties in recent months, including the two lieutenant colonels who were killed within the past two months.

A military source told PREMIUM TIMES the six soldiers were killed near their base in Jakana.

A soldier who went missing has since returned to base, sources said. A reinforcement was sent from the 29 Task Force Brigade Headquarters in Benisheik to the outpost in Jakana.

The remains of the colonel and five others have been sent to the Nigerian Army medical facility in Maiduguri.

The Boko Haram sect has continued its deadly campaign despite the Nigerian government’s efforts and claims that the war was nearing its last days.

Hundreds of soldiers have been killed since Boko Haram began focusing on military bases in July 2018, casualties that included at least six senior officers and commanders.

The military has succeeded in limiting the insurgents to three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. They hitherto operated across Northern Nigeria including in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

However, the Boko Haram group is still able to attack military and civilians in the three states where it currently operates.

The Boko Haram insurgency has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 2009.

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