At least seven newly recruited soldiers were killed while 20 others injured in a battle on Thursday night when members of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists ambushed convoy of the Nigerian Army in Borno State.
The gunfire which started at about 7:30 pm occurred along the Maiduguri-Dikwa road as military convoys traveled in army trucks and buses owned by the Borno State Government.
According to reports, the terrorists were said to have suddenly emerged in large numbers from surrounding bushes and opened fire on the travelling troops, most of whom were said to be young soldiers fresh from training.
The terrorists were said to be in a “surprisingly large number and armed with sophisticated weapons” and did a lot of damage before the soldiers could alight from their buses to fight back.
After the soldiers emerged from their vehicles, a prolonged fire-fight ensued, with seven of them falling in battle, and 20 others suffering varying degrees of injuries.
The army then sent reinforcement to the scene, but by the time those soldiers arrived, the Boko terrorists had fled into surrounding bushes and villages, making away with a gun truck, a mine detector, some AK 47 rifles, explosives and other weapons.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army on Friday confirmed the attack in a statement signed by Kingsley Samuel, a Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Director Army Public Relations at the 7 Division.
“Troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE gallantly fought their way through Boko Haram Terrorists ambush along Ajiri-Dikwa road, Borno State.
“Elements of troops affected encountered the ambush while conducting routine rotation of troops last night. The gallant troops fought their way through, killing many of the terrorists.
“Unfortunately 7 soldiers paid the supreme price in the incident while 19 soldiers sustained various degree of injuries. The soldiers who sustained injuries during the fierce encounter have been evacuated and are currently receiving treatment at Military hospital in Maiduguri. The troops recovered an AK-47 rifle and ammunition from the insurgents. Additional troops have been mobilised and are still on aggressive pursuit of the fleeing Boko Haram terrorists,” the statement reads.