CHIEF of defence staff General Abayomi Olonishakin has dismissed recent reports indicating that 105 soldiers were killed by Boko Haram terrorists during in recent confrontation ion Borno State stating that the troops are back with their unit.
Yesterday, several media outlets had reported that the soldiers were missing following a bitter battle with Boko Haram in Gudunbali in Borno State. While some reports suggested that the troops might have fled across the border, others said that they had been killed and even published pictures of the slain soldiers.
Clearing the air, General Olonishakin admitted that a number of Nigerian soldiers went missing after a fierce gunfight with Boko Haram insurgents. However, he added that this was due to operational issues during the battle with the terrorists and the troops have now re-joined their units.
It was believed that the troops attached to the 157 Battalion went missing after they came under intense attack from Boko Haram insurgents who captured a Russian T-72 tank as well as several artillery weapons from them. Major General Yushau Abubakar, the commander of the Seventh Mechanised Brigade of the Nigerian Army based in Maiduguri, admitted that the troops were involved in a major clash with the insurgents and several causalities were recorded on both sides.
Major General Abubakar added: “Our troops were attacked in Gudumbali where we dislodged the Boko Haram. We had an attack and we are sorting it out.”
He added that although the location of 157 Battalion was attacked on Wednesday, the attack was subsequently repelled by the gallant troops of the unit. For now, the Nigerian Army is yet to reveal the number of casualties it suffered.
Additional reporting by Nigerian Watch Media
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