- Nigeria, China sign N2bn military assistance pact
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
An Army officer and a soldier were killed while five soldiers wounded as Nigerian military engaged Boko Haram terrorists in a gritty battle that led to the death of over 80 terrorists in different battlegrounds notably in Baga Naval Base, which was recently reclaimed; Cross Kauwa and Monguno in Borno State.
This is coming as Nigeria and China signed a N2billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to offer assistance to the Nigerian military in order to strengthen its counter-insurgency measures.
The Nigerian army said the fallen soldiers, part of the newly formed 707 Special Forces Brigade, were evacuated while the wounded were still responding to treatment.
Sources within the theatre of war said the night skyline of the battlefields were rent with loud explosions and fireballs as the combined forces of the army, air force and navy engaged the terrorists in a simultaneous ground and air assault.
While the combined troops of the army and the navy shelled insurgents’ locations with armoured tanks, the air force constantly bombarded the terrorists.
A statement from the army said the military also captured some equipment from the terrorists.
According to the statement, “In the determined efforts to wipe out remnants of Boko Haram terrorists that now goes by the appellation of Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP), the gallant troops of the newly formed Nigerian Army Special Forces Command (NASFC) of Operation Lafiya Dole have given the terrorists that attacked troops’ location in Baga a bloody nose.
“The triumphant troops, particularly the highly revered 707 Special Forces Brigade, which is the vanguard of the great exploit, dealt the decisive blow that neutralised several terrorists along that axis despite prior warning to them by some unpatriotic elements.
It further stated that “the remains of the two fallen heroes and the wounded have since been evacuated. The injured soldiers are in stable condition and receiving medical attention.
“The troops are now busy consolidating and clearing vestiges of the terrorists within the northern Borno State axis with special emphasis on the Lake Chad region.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria and China had signed a N2billion MoU to offer assistance to Nigerian military to strengthen its counter-insurgency measures.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali, and the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Ziyou Pingjian, signed the MoU on behalf of their countries.
The signing of the military assistance implementation agreement was a follow up to the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to China in September 2018 where discussions on infrastructure financing for strategic projects and gratis for the armed forces were held with the Chinese President, Xi Jinping.