Not fewer than 20 soldiers were killed and several other injured when suspected Boko Haram terrorists ambushed troops’ convoys in Borno State on Tuesday, sources disclosed to Daily Trust.
However, the Military said only two soldiers were killed in the ambush.
It added that troops neutralized 17 members of the Boko Haram sect during the encounter.
It was gathered that the incident occurred along Damboa/Maiduguri highway at about 30 kilometers away from Damboa town.
A security source told our correspondent that the terrorists opened fire on troops which resulted in the deaths of many soldiers.
“It was so sad, our troops went on clearing operations on the way back to Damboa at 30 kilometers away, the terrorists laid an ambushed and shots from every angle.
“We lost more than a dozen soldiers.
“The corpses of the soldiers have been evacuated to Maiduguri as well as those who sustained injures.
“They are currently receiving treatment in the military facility,” a security source said.
We killed 17 Boko Haram terrorists – DHQ
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters said troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, on July 7, eliminated 17 Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents in the ambush.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a statement on Wednesday, said that only two soldiers died, while four were wounded in the encounter.
Enenche said the success was recorded by the troops of 25 Task Force Brigade, deployed at Damboa in conjunction with elements of Sector 2 Special Forces, while on clearance operations along the route.
He said the troops outflanked and engaged the criminals with overwhelming volume of fire power, forcing the terrorists to withdraw in disarray.
According to him, in the aftermath of the encounter, 17 Boko Haram/ISWAP criminals were neutralised, while several others were believed to have narrowly escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds.
He added that cache of arms and ammunition were equally captured by the troops.
“Regrettably, two valiant soldiers paid the supreme price while four others were wounded in action.
“However, the wounded in action soldiers have been evacuated to a military medical facility and currently responding positively to treatment,” he said.
He added that the Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE, has been directed to immediately deploy a Special Forces Battalion to reinforce and dominate Damboa – Bulabulin – Maiduguri axis, to completely deny the insurgents any chance of escape during the final assault against the criminals.
“Members of the general public, particularly residents of the area, are also requested to remain calm, law abiding and continue with their routine activities as all necessary measures have been put in place by the Theatre Command to ensure all routes are safe for commuting without fear of attack by the criminals,” he added.