About 70 soldiers, including a major and three officers, have been killed in an ambush by suspected Boko Haram insurgents, military sources said.
The troops, on operation Ayiso Tamonuma, had first advanced to Alagarno area in Borno state on Saturday through Sunday, and though they ran into an ambush, no soldier was killed.
On Monday, again, the troops ran into a second ambush as they moved into Goniri area in Yobe and this time were overpowered by the insurgents who “wiped out the entire artillery troop”.
“The Boko Haram insurgents attacked the rear convoy where the multi barrel rocket launcher (MBRL) and sinotruk (yellow bucket) loaded with soldiers were positioned,” a source said.
“Boko Haram utilised their rocket propelled grenade ( RPG) fire and other support weapons on the vehicles and inflicted heavy casualties on the troops, wiping out the entire artillery troop.
“The full details of the casualties can’t be ascertained now. However, according to our contacts, it was confirmed that at least over 50 soldiers were killed and some of the KIA (killed in action), were burnt beyond recognition. Details of the names of the KIA is not known yet as it was difficult to identify the corpses.”
The major who was killed served as second in command at one of the battalions in the north-east. Sources said a flight lieutenant of the air force was also killed in the attack.
Those wounded have since been evacuated to Damaturu and Maiduguri.
Sagir Musa, army spokesperson, was not reachable to comment on the attack.