The Nigerian Army has cleared the air on Sunday’s attack on its Mainok Super camp by ISWAP and confirmed the loss of seven soldiers, including an officer.
Five other soldiers who sustained various degrees of injuries in the attack have been evacuated to the military medical facility for treatment.
Reports had emerged on Sunday that some soldiers were killed in an airstrike by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
Sources claimed that the air force bomber accidentally hit the wrong coordinates while targeting Boko Haram insurgents who had attacked the troops.
But Brigadier Mohammed Yerima, Director, Army Public Relations in a statement on Monday said the soldiers died in a shootout with the insurgents, contrary to reports that they were hit by bombers of Nigeria Air Force.
The statement reads; ” On Sunday 25 April 2021, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in Mainok, Borno State, came under multi-directional attacks by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists mounted on an unconfirmed number of Gun Trucks as well as foot soldiers with the possible intent of establishing a phantom caliphate in the town.
” The terrorists were held by the gallant troops of 156 Task Force Battalion until the arrival of reinforcement teams from 7 Division, Special Army Super Camp Ngamdu and Army Super Camp 4, Benesheik.
” During the firefight which lasted several hours, the gallant troops tactically lured a number of the terrorists into a killing zone within their camp where the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole scrambled Alpha jets and helicopter gunboats which took turns in decimating the already trapped terrorists.
” In the aftermath of the encounter, scores of Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised with their body parts littering the area and a number of their gun trucks destroyed.
” Regrettably, one gallant Officer and six soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice while 5 other soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries.
” The wounded soldiers have already been evacuated to the military medical facility for treatment. Currently, troops are in full control of Mainok and environ as exploitation for fleeing terrorists is ongoing.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru has applauded troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for their resilience, commitment, and doggedness and further reassured Nigerians of the Army’s unalloyed commitment to defeating Boko Haram/SWAP terrorists while urging citizens to always avail the troops with accurate and timely information for prompt action.