Paul Obi in Abuja
About four soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgency in North-east were feared dead as military troops under Operation Lafiya Dole engaged Boko Haram terrorists in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.
Though the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, confirmed the incident, he did not link the dead that occurred to the battle between the troops and insurgents.
Troops of 152 Battalion, 21 Brigade Nigerian Army on Operation Lafiya Dole, encountered suspected Boko Haram terrorists ambush along Banki- Bula Yobe road in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State, while on escort duties of some civilians from Banki to Maiduguri.
â€œAlthough the troops successfully cleared the ambush after a heavy fire fight, regrettably four persons lost their lives when their vehicle stepped on a buried Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on the road.
â€œSimilarly, 12 persons comprising six soldiers, two Civilian JTF and six Internally Displaced Persons sustained various degrees of injuries.â€
Usman explained that â€œthe terrorists who laid an IED on the road to deter troops movement, had among them a suicide bomber who could not bear the troops heavy volume of fire which made the terrorist to detonate the explosive killing only himself.
â€œThe troops displayed high level of gallantry by swiftly engaging the terrorists which led to the neutralising of the large number of the terrorists while some of them escaped with gunshot wounds.
â€œDuring the exploitation process, they also discovered bodies of some of the Boko Haram terrorists and recovered two Fabrique Nationale Rifle magazines, 50 belted 7.62mm special and a Detonating Cord 33 used by the terrorists in detonating IED.
â€œThe wounded soldiers have since been evacuated by Nigerian Air Force helicopter to 7 Division Hospital and Medical Services and are recuperating well,â€ Usman added.