By Samuel Malik
Five of the soldiers missing in a Boko Haram attack in Borno State have been found, the Nigerian army has announced.
The army on Saturday said the commanding officer of the unit was among those found.
The icirnigeria.org had reported that 16 soldiers were missing on Wednesday when they were attacked by Boko Haram members on their way from a clearance operation at Guro Gongon village.
The soldiers were returning to their location when one of their vehicles got stuck in mud, forcing them to spend quite some time trying to retrieve it. They were still at it when the insurgents, who had apparently reinforced, struck. Some soldiers were later unaccounted for after the attack, although the army did not say how many were missing.
This website reported that 16 soldiers were missing but as the dust settled, it was discovered this number was only for non-commissioned officers. The sources later confirmed that the total number of soldiers missing was 19, including three officers.
Following the attack, the army sent a search and rescue team made up of “air assets, Special Forces and patrols” to try and establish contact with them and this led to the discovery of the five.
Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, a Colonel, today confirmed the discovery of the soldiers.
“We wish to inform you that the search party has this morning found 5 more officers and soldiers that were declared missing in action, including the unit’s Commanding Officer,” Usman said, adding that the soldiers had been taking for treatment.
According to our military sources, 12 soldiers and two officers are yet to be found.
“I can tell you the army is not taking this lightly. We will not rest until we rescue each missing soldier,” the source said.