No fewer than five soldiers of the Nigerian Army were on Sunday confirmed killed when Boko Haram terrorists, believed to be linked to the Islamic State of West African Province, attacked a military base in the Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State.
The attack took place around 6pm on Friday, with fears that the soldiers killed were about 15, although the army in a release on Sunday confirmed that five soldiers killed.
Our correspondent learnt that the troops, during the ensuing gun battle, killed a yet-to-be-ascertained number of terrorists, but some military ammunition had been carted away by the insurgents.
ISWAP and Boko Haram fighters reportedly engaged the troops, attached to the Sector 3, Operation Lafiya Dole, who were deployed in the Forward Operation Base, Magumeri for hours, until reinforcements came from a neighbouring military base.
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Ezindu Idima, said the terrorists attacked Magumeri in search of food supplies but most of them were shot dead, while some escaped with gunshot injuries.
Idima said, “The troops of Sector 3 had a fierce encounter with the Boko Haram terrorists on Friday. The criminals came in numbers to infiltrate the Magumeri village in order to loot food items and other valuables. The troops effectively thwarted the terrorists’ plan through their superior firepower.
“During the encounter, the troops exterminated scores of the insurgents and many escaped with gunshot injuries. A clearance operation has been sustained to deal with the remaining fleeing criminals.
“Unfortunately, five soldiers paid the supreme price. The Commander, Sector 3, Maj. Gen. Olufemi Akinjobi, has on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, charged the troops to maintain the momentum to ensure the final defeat of the terrorists.”
Idima said the military, under the Multinational Joint Task Force, launched Operation Yancin Tafki in February 2019 to deny the terrorists freedom of action and access to foodstuffs, which forced them to resort to looting vulnerable communities.