Fresh attack: Boko Haram kills Army commander, scores of soldiers in Borno

By Editor on 21/11/2018

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Boko Haram insurgents invaded a Nigerian Army battalion in Borno State, killing the unit’s commander and scores of soldiers, military sources revealed.

A large cache of arms, ammunition and military equipment were carted away by Boko Haram fighters during the attack on 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, Abadam Local Government Area, at about 6:00 p.m., a setback for government forces trying to push terrorists further out of Nigeria’s northeastern flank.

There were fears for the fate of the troops from the base, which was raided only a month ago, as military sources said the Nigerian Army was making frantic efforts to contain the traumatic effect of the attack on the larger counter insurgency operation.

According to reports dozens of soldiers from the battalion have already been confirmed killed, amongst them their commander.

Military sources were unable to tell the number of Boko Haram casualties.

Military sources said the fallen commander was a lieutenant colonel[ Identity withheld], who had overseen the unit for a long time. He once allegedly refused to mobilise troops for an operation, citing unavailability of serviceable hardware, but faced threats of being court-martialed, sources said.

Also, the deadly jihadists killed nine farmers and abducted 12 others in the Mammanti village in Borno state, locals

It was not immediately learnt how many soldiers were manning the base during the attack, which was linked to Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA).

The group has long targeted military bases, and has intensified its assaults in recent months on military formations across the volatile northeast.

A day before on November 17, Boko Haram terrorists attacked the base of Sector 2 troops in Mainok, Kaga Local Government Area, killing at least one soldier and leaving several others wounded. Military sources believed the Shekau faction of the group was responsible for the attack, which saw insurgents cart away a large quantity of arms and ammunition.

It was only on October 8 that Boko Haram militants raided the same base of 157 Battalion in Metele, killing at least 18 soldiers and wounding eight others.

At least 157 soldiers were feared missing during the attack, and their whereabouts had not been conclusively resolved by military brass over a month later, sources said.

Military authorities announced the attack, but heavily downplayed its magnitude.

President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian military leaders have claimed they are winning the war on terror, but analysts say recent attacks are bolstering rather than dampen fears of the insurgency.

Hundreds of Nigerian troops have been killed and even more missing since Boko Haram resumed its latest campaign in July, fueling concerns amongst military leaders, and prompting an emergency reshuffling of commanders.

Worried about the rising cases of missing soldiers in Boko Haram attack, the chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, issued a warning to troops on the battlefront against fleeing from insurgents in August, threatening errant personnel with a tough prosecution.

The Defence Headquarters announced last week it had taken new delivery of military equipment, boasting of a tough time ahead for insurgents.

The military has said it recorded tremendous gains in its counterinsurgency operations over the past three years, especially after managing to confine the insurgents to the fringes of Nigerian territories.

This was against the previous years when the deadly Boko Haram terrorists held vast Nigerian lands across its North-east stronghold, occasionally spilling into North-west and North-central geopolitical zones.

Posted 21/11/2018 2:25:58 PM

 

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