- Yusuf Buratai
At least 13 Nigerian soldiers have, within the last few days, been killed in what seems to be a resurgence of Boko Haram attacks on troops in the North East, military sources said.
The attackers also carted away a large quantity of military equipment.
The attacks, which started on Sunday, were not reported earlier as the military did not provide details.
The spokesman of the Nigerian military, Sagir Musa, did not comment when journalists confronted him on Friday with questions regarding the attacks.
But one military source who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES under strict condition of anonymity because he feared being penalised by his commanders, said: “the last few days have not been good for the troops.”
“Our troops on patrol near Gajigana came under ambush and many lost their lives in the process,” he said.
The source said troops of the Special Forces located in Gudumbali came under a deadly ambush by armed insurgents who came in several gun trucks.
The source said the incident happened at about 5pm on Sunday along Gurunda – Zari Road.
The source said about 100 soldiers who managed to extricate them and withdrew made it to their Damasak, a border community near Niger Republic after some days.
“As I am talking to you now, seven soldiers have been confirmed killed in action. But there could be more deaths as the terrorists were said to have slaughtered those captured and even dragged them using ropes tied to their gun trucks,” he said.
The source said the bodies of the slain soldiers were on Wednesday taken to the 7 Division headquarters in Maiduguri.
On Wednesday, while soldiers of the 7 Division were mourning their gallant colleagues, another attack took place in Kukawa.
Though no death was recorded, a source said the insurgents “only went in search of logistics which they packed and moved away.”
Another attack was said to have happened on Thursday evening in Gubio. A similar attack occurred there three weeks ago.
The Gubio attack happened at the same time Gajiram and Gajiganna were being attacked.
The source said six soldiers and a member of the Civilian JTF were killed in the Gubio attack while three gun trucks and CJTF Hilux patrol ban were carted away.”
“The civilian that was killed was the CJTF Commander in Gubio Bulama Bukar, alias Maradona who has been the target of the Boko Haram for long.
“He was buried yesterday(Friday) after Jumaat prayers in Gubio,” he said.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, was on Friday in Maiduguri where he had long hours of meeting with troops commanders at the Theater Command headquarters of the Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri.
The army chief did not speak with journalists.
When asked about Gajigana attack, army spokesperson, Mr. Musa, a colonel, said: “You can ask the Theater Commander please.”
The Theater Commander, Olusegun Adeniyi, did not respond to calls.