The Nigerian Army says Boko Haram terrorists have killed at least 10 soldiers and one police officer in an ambush in Borno State.
Deputy Director of Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday.
According to him, the security operatives attached to 1 Division were on escort duty along Damaturu – Maiduguri Road when the incident occurred.
Colonel Nwachukwu regretted that the troops fought through the ambush staged by the terrorists but lost their lives in the process.
“The gallant troops engaged the terrorists in a firefight, courageously wading through the ambush,” he said.
“Sadly, 13 military and police personnel, including a police officer paid the supreme price while extricating themselves from the ambush.”
The Theatre Command spokesperson, however, said the Army has since commenced a clearance operation to pursue and eliminate the terrorist ambush party.
He added that the bodies of the gallant soldiers and the policeman have been evacuated.
Nwachukwu also revealed that a soldier wounded in the ambush was already receiving treatment.
He said elsewhere, troops repelled an attack by the insurgents on a Forward Operational Base at Kukareta in Damaturu Local Government Area of Yobe state.
During the attack which also occurred on Christmas Eve, the Theatre Command spokesperson said one soldier was injured while several of the insurgents were killed.
“The terrorists who attacked the location at about 6. 30 pm met with prompt and fierce response of the vigilant troops who engaged and overpowered them, killing several of the terrorists,” he said.
In the face of recent attacks on military personnel and locations in the North East, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has insisted that the terrorist group has been defeated.
In his Christmas message to troops on Tuesday, he said the military has recorded huge success in its onslaught against the insurgents, although they have resorted to propaganda in their activities.
“It is evident that you have defeated the Boko Haram Terrorists,” the Army chief said. “Thus, they have now resorted to employing propaganda in order to demoralise you by spreading false messages of strength and invincibility.”