Colonel, 20 soldiers killed in ambush by Boko Haram in Yobe
Authorities of the Nigerian Army yesterday confirmed the killing of a Colonel, a Captain and three soldiers by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State this is even as an unconfirmed report said that a Colonel and 20 soldiers were also killed in ambushed attack by men of Boko Haram during the week in Yobe State.
The confirmation was contained in a statement on the incident by the Deputy Director of Public Relations, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Col. Isa Ado. According to Ado, the incident occurred on Wednesday in Jakana area of the state.
He stated that the officers and soldiers were on transit from Maiduguri to Damaturu when they ran into an ambush by the terrorists. Troops of 212 Battalion, according to him, were later deployed at Forward Operating Base (FOB), Jakana, to deal 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. He said that they came 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,” revealed the spokesman. He said that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Tukur Buratai, had commiserated with the families of the fallen heroes. Ado 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, the COAS commended the efforts of the entire troops in the theatre and charged them to remain focused, 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 remains secure, peaceful and free from terrorist activities for the overall interest of the nation.”
Meanwhile, an unconfirmed report said an army commander, of the rank of Colonel and 20 soldiers were killed in an ambush by Boko Haram, in Yobe State. The troops were said to have been ambushed on Wednesday while on their way to the headquarters of 29 Task Force Brigade of the Nigerian Army located in Benisheik, as they returned from Borogozo in the state.
According to military sources the brigade commander, a colonel and 20 soldiers, were killed when they ran into an ambush. Sector 2 Command of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has sent reinforcement to the area while bodies of the soldiers were moved to the 7 Division Headquarters in Maiduguri.
The death toll in the two attacks in Borno and Yobe states, brings to 52 the number of soldiers and personnel of Nigerian Army killed in about two months by the forces of the Islamic State for West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram in the North-east.