Rampaging Boko Haram insurgents allegedly overran an Army battalion in Borno State killing the unit’s commander and dozens of soldiers.
It was also reported that a large cache of arms, ammunition and military equipment were carted away by Boko Haram fighters during the attack on 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, Abadam Local Government Area, at about 6:00 pm on Sunday.
The fate of troops from the base, which was raided only a month ago was
Not immediately known as military sources said the Nigerian Army was making frantic efforts to contain the traumatic effect of the attack on the larger counterinsurgency operation.
Reports also had it that bodies of fallen troops were still being recovered and evacuated from the scene as of Tuesday morning but dozens of soldiers from the battalion have already been confirmed killed, amongst them their commander.
However, military sources were unable to tell the number of Boko Haram casualties but said the fallen commander was a lieutenant colonel, who had overseen the unit for a long time.
“He once allegedly refused to mobilise troops for an operation, citing unavailability of serviceable hardware, but faced threats of being court-martialed”, the sources said.
It was not immediately learned how many soldiers were manning the base during the attack, which was linked to Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA).
The group has long targeted military bases and has intensified its assaults in recent months on military formations across the volatile northeast.
A day before on November 17, Boko Haram terrorists attacked the base of Sector 2 troops in Mainok, Kaga Local Government Area, killing at least one soldier and leaving several others wounded. Military sources believed the Shekau faction of the group was responsible for the attack, which saw insurgents cart away a large number of arms and ammunition.