At least 30 soldiers were reported dead, 19 injured and some others yet to be unaccounted for as Boko Haram insurgents allegedly invaded a base of the Nigerian Army North-East, near the border Nigeria shares with Niger in Borno state on Thursday, August 30. AFP report.
According to sources who spoke to AFP, the soldiers attacked the army establishment at Zari village, near the northern axis of Borno State, late on Thursday. The troops had to temporarily
withdraw their attacks, following the heavy fighting that took place. Another military source, who preferred not to be named, was quoted as saying: “they came in large numbers in trucks, carrying heavy weapons and engaged soldiers in a battle that lasted for an hour. We lost at least 30 men. They overwhelmed the troops, who were forced to temporarily withdraw before reinforcements arrived.”
The report said the insurgents stormed the base in 12 gun trucks while some others came on foot in the early evening of that day.
Reinforcement, however, later arrived before some sense of normalcy was restored. While the fight lasted, the terrorists raided the army base, carting away weapons and other military equipment, before they were repelled by a fighter jet.
“An unknown number of troops could still not be accounted for as at Saturday (September 1) morning, our sources said. “A search and rescue operation is currently underway in conjunction with troops from the 145 battalion, this website learnt.
“The wounded officers and men were evacuated to the Nigerian Army 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital in Maiduguri. “Two of our sources said the terrorists made away with armoured personnel carriers, anti-aircraft guns, water tanker, utility trucks, ambulances and other equipment.
“They also burnt satellite communication equipment and destroyed makeshift tents inside the camp,” the report quoted the source as saying adding that the authorities were still trying to ascertain Boko Haram casualties.
A military officer, speaking on the incident, said: “The terrorists also suffered heavy casualty from the bombardment.” According to one of the sources, the terrorists may have attacked from nearby Garunda village, where 17 soldiers were killed and 14 left injured in a similar attack, but on another military base, in August.
Meanwhile, a statement credited to the Nigerian Army on the incident, read: “Troops…have successfully routed Boko Haram insurgents in an encounter that ensued yesterday evening at Zari village.” There was no mention of soldiers being killed, but the army noted that “several Boko Haram fighters and weapons” were destroyed in the incident.