By Samuel Malik
The icirnigeria.org has learnt that 16 soldiers, including their commanding officer, from a unit in 29 Brigade in Borno State, are still missing following an ambush on the troops while returning from a clearance operation on Friday morning.
The attack happened, according to military sources, when the soldiers unsuccessfully tried to retrieve one of their vehicles stuck in mud on their way from a clearance patrol in Guro Gongon village.
“They had an impressive outing against the terrorists. They killed many of them and recovered some heavy weapons, including APC, RPG and AA. On their way back, one of their vehicles got hooked in mud, you know how the terrain is here when it rains. So, they tried to remove the vehicle from the mud and spent a long time trying to do it and I think the insurgents must have sighted them and went to reinforce,” the source said.
Despite the attack by the insurgents, this website learnt, the soldiers held their ground until military reinforcement came four hours later. After the attack, it was discovered that some soldiers were not accounted for, including the commanding officer.
“Some returned later but 16 are still missing, including the CO,” the source added.
The Nigerian army issued a statement confirming the incident, saying 19 soldiers and three members of the youth vigilante group, Civilian JTF, were injured and had been evacuated for treatment.
Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, a Colonel, said a team of Special Forces personnel was dispatched to locate the missing soldiers.
“It is pertinent to state that, no stone would be left unturned until every person involved in the operation has been accounted for,” Usman said.