No fewer than 23 Nigerian soldiers were yet to be accounted for yesterday, after Boko Haram insurgents ambushed a military convoy at Boboshe village in Bama Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno State.
Five officers, 18 soldiers and eight trucks were missing after the attack, which occurred at the weekend.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the military, acting on intelligence, mobilised troops in a convoy of 11 trucks to clear the insurgents from the deserted village.
The attacking insurgents were believed to have been those who escaped the ongoing offensive by the military to flush out the Boko Haram terrorists in the fringes of Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad region.
A competent military source said the insurgents in their hundreds ambushed the troops, and in the process, many of them were missing.
He disclosed that only three of the 11 trucks deployed in the area returned to their base in Maiduguri, the state capital, after suffering huge loss in the battle with the insurgents.
â€œThere was a quick response by the army when they received reports that hundreds of the insurgents gathered at Boboshe on Maiduguri-Konduga-Bama road.
â€œThe gallant soldiers were ambushed by the insurgents, only three of the 11 trucks returned to the base.
â€œIt is not clear what happened but it was assumed the soldiers were missing, following the ambush,â€ he added.
Meanwhile, residents of Jilli community in Gubio LGA of the stateÂ on SaturdayÂ fled the town sequel to an attack by the Boko Haram insurgents.
It was learnt that the insurgents attacked the area from the axis of Lake Chad, forcing the residents to flee.
One of the residents, Bukar Mustapha, said he and other villagers fled their homes when they received report that the insurgents were coming to attack them.
â€œIn the afternoonÂ on Saturday, we heard that the insurgents gathered in the nearby bush preparing for the attack.
â€œI am one of those who ran to Maiduguri, which is about 45 kilometres from my village.
â€œOn SundayÂ morning, I called Gubio and I was told that the insurgents had attacked the town during the night time. I do not have the casualties because the situation is still not clear at Jilli,â€ Mustapha said.
Another resident who pleaded anonymity, said troops had been deployed in the area.