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Jilli attack: Nigerians ask questions as pictures of slain soldiers flood social media

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IT’S been one week since Boko Haram fighters attacked a military base in Jilli, Geidam local Government Area of Yobe State, North East Nigeria, killing several soldiers, while many were said to be missing.

Same day, Saturday 14 July, 2018, the insurgents ambushed a military convoy in Boboshe village in Bama local government area of Borno State.

Though the Nigerian Army authorities denied the reports, saying that only one soldier and one officer were injured in the attack,and that they were receiving adequate treatment, The ICIR reported that 62 soldiers lost their lives in the attack, and several others were yet to be accounted for.

“When Boko Haram opened fire on the troops, they tried to fight back but were overpowered. Boko Haram fighters arrived with many anti-aircraft guns while the soldiers were limited to AK-47 riffles. The only support weapons readily available were machine guns but these are very old and not too reliable. It intermittently stops when being fired and this is not good in a battlefield,” a credible military source told The ICIR.

Despite the denial by the army, family members and friends of soldiers who lost their lives in the attack started uploading their pictures on the social media, as proof that the attack actually took place. Many of such post condemned the Nigerian government for their lack of sincerity and empathy.

One of the tweets read: “There’s no greater insult to the Nigerian soldiers killed by Boko Haram than the denial by the Military that they were killed. This is Politics taken too far. You dishonour them by denying they paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and weaken the morale of those alive.”

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Read other reactions on twitter below:

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On Saturday, Oby Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education and co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign group, weighed in on the matter, asking President Muhammadu Buhari to order the army to quit their denials and to explain to Nigerians what actually happened.

“I am  calling on President Buhari who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to please ask the Nigerian Army to provide the facts on what happened to the Nigerian Soldiers alleged dead and whose pictures are all over the social media,” Ezekwesili wrote on Twitter.

“Fighting at the frontlines of battles for one’s country is the most patriotic act known throughout history. It should not be different in our country.”

The Buhari administration has consistently maintained that the Boko Haram insurgency has been “technically defeated” even though the group continues to carry out attacks and suicide bombings.

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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