By Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
EIGHT soldiers were on Saturday killed and three injured when Boko Haram gunmen ambushed the convoy of an army Commanding Officer in Yobe State, North East Nigeria.
It was gathered that two Land Cruiser Hilux gun trucks were also snatched and taken away by the insurgents.
However, in a statement on Sunday, the army said its troops successfully repelled an attack by Boko Haram insurgents on a military patrol team in Sasawa, Yobe State.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Texas Chukwu, a Brigadier General, said in the statement that many of the insurgents were killed, adding that they had planned to attack the Babangida market to steal food items before they laid ambush for the troops, whom he said were on patrol.
“Troops of 233 Battalion deployed in Operation LAFIYA DOLE have neutralised scores of Boko Haram terrorists today, 21 July, along Sasawa Road in Babbangida Local Government Area of Yobe State while countering an ambush staged by element terrorists,” Chukwu was quoted as saying by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The army spokesperson also disclosed that the troops recorded some casualties but did not provide details, although he said that the situation was under control and that additional men was sent to reinforce the patrol team.
However, a soldier serving in the area told The ICIR that the attack happened around midday when the Commanding Officer of 233 Battalion, in charge of Sasawa in Damaturu local government area of Yobe state, was returning from his farm, which he had gone to inspect.
“The C.O. went to check his farm and was in the company of a captain, who is likely in charge of operations in the battalion. He was being escorted by soldiers in three gun trucks while he and the captain were in a regular Hilux when the ambush happened,” our source said.
“Eight soldiers were killed, three injured and two of the gun trucks were taken but the C.O. and the captain managed to escape,” he further disclosed.
This is about the fourth attack the military has suffered in two weeks in the counter insurgency operation in the North East, as it appears there is a resurgence of attacks by the Boko Haram.