The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has in first official casualty figure confirmes the death of 23 Nigerian Army personnel as a result of last week’s attacks by Boko Haram terrorists splinter group, the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP).
ISWAP had claimed that the attacked its fighters killed over 100 soldiers when they overran the 157 Battalion military base in Metele in northern Borno on November 18, 2018.
But Buratai in a statement on Wednesday signed by Brig-Gen. Sani Usman, confirmed only the killing of 23 servicemen with 31 others injured in the attacks.
He said that those “wounded in action and have been evacuated to several medical hospitals.”
The COAS also noted that 12 soldiers were also killed at Kukawa, Ngoshe, Kareto and Gajiram when the troops came under attacks of the Boko Haram terrorists.
He stated: “Troops deployed in the North-East of Nigeria under Operation Lafiya Dole have come under series of attacks by large numbers of Boko Haram terrorists. Specifically, the Nigerian Army troops deployed at Kukawa, Ngoshe, Kareto and Gajiram came under attack at different times within a two-week period from November 2 to 17.
“Each of these incidents was successfully repelled and several members of the terrorists were killed. However, a total of 16 personnel were killed in the course of these attacks while 12 soldiers were wounded in action and are receiving treatment at our military medical facilities.
“As you are all aware, Nigeria is contributing troops to the Multi-National Joint Task Force which has its headquarters in N’djamena, in the Republic of Chad. One of the Nigerian battalions, 157 Task Force Battalion, deployed under the auspices of the MNJTF was attacked at their Base on the outskirts of a town called Metele on November 18.
“In the last two to three months, we have noticed daring moves by the terrorists, increased use of drones against our defensive positions and infusion of foreign fighters in their ranks. These potent threats require us to continually review our operations.”
Credits | Punch