An attack by the Boko Haram terrorist group on troops of the Nigerian military at Kangarwa Village in northern Borno State on Monday night has left one soldier and thirteen terrorists dead.
The incident was confirmed in two separate statements issued by the spokespersons of the Nigeria Army and the Air Force, Sani Usman and Ayodele Famuyiwa respectively.
The attack which was repelled by a combination of Nigeria Air Force aircraft and Nigerian Army officials also saw three other soldiers injured.
Monday’s attack came at about the time the burial of five soldiers, including Abu Ali – a lieutenant colonel who had been commended by the army hierarchy for his role in the war – was taking place at the military cemetery in Abuja.
Famuyiwa, the Air Force spokesman, stated that “the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter aircraft yesterday repelled attack by the Boko Haram Terrorists on own ground troops at Kangarwa in northern Borno State.”
“Following the report of the attack, 3 x fighter jets and a reconnaissance aircraft were immediately deployed for the operation.
“While the fighter aircrafts were scrambled to repel the attack, the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft was deployed to give guidance to ground troops on the position equipment and strength of the BHTs.”
Famuyiwa added that “the operation which started at about 1700 hours (5pm) continued till late evening at about 1915 hours (7:15pm) before the attack was successfully repelled.”
The army spokesman, Usman, explained that the Boko Haram attack was on troops of 119 Task Force Battalion, 8 Division of the Nigerian Army.
He said the troops were able to “neutralize 13 of the attacking Boko Haram terrorists,” adding that “Unfortunately, one soldier paid the supreme price during the encounter, while 3 soldiers were wounded in action.”
Usman said the troops had to call for air support as the attack dragged on.
“The offensive which began at about 4.00pm and lasted for roughly four hours, necessitated the troops calling for air support to which the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) promptly responded by dispatching an Intelligence Surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft and a Ground Attack Fighter Aircraft in support of the ground offensive.”, he said.
He said the attack ended after some of the insurgents fled with gunshot wounds, abandoning their weapons and other belongings.
“The troops also neutralized 2 Hilux vehicles belonging to the insurgents and recovered the following: a Hilux vehicle, 1 Browning Machine Gun (BMG), 1 Anti-Aircraft Gun (AAG), 2 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), 1 Light Machine Gun (LMG), 2 Rocket Propelled Guns Seven (RPG 7) tubes and bombs, 5 AK-47 Rifles and 550 Rounds of Anti-Aircraft Gun ammunition”, Usman stated.