The Nigerian Army has revealed that 23 of its personnel were killed and 31 others wounded when Boko Haram insurgents overran the military base at Metele in Borno state.
This was contained in a statement released by the Army Wednesday night, ten days after the deadly attack that’s cast a different light on the war on terror.
“As at date 23 personnel were killed in action and 31 personnel were wounded in action and have been evacuated to several medical hospitals within Borno State,” Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman said in the statement.
Usman also confirmed that between November 2nd and 17th the insurgents attacked troops’ positions at Kukawa, Ngoshe, Kareto and Gajiram.
He said troops repelled those attacks but lost 16 soldiers, while 12 others sustained injuries in those incidents.
“The sacrifices of these fallen heroes will not be in vain. We also wish all those wounded in action speedy recovery and assure them of our continued support and care,” Usman said
This comes after contrary claims by a military personnel among the troop that was attacked, who told foreign news agency Reuters that “the insurgents took us unawares. We lost about 100 soldiers. It is a huge loss.”
The attack has been condemned by security analysts and major stakeholders in the country, while many Nigerians are also questioning how the $1 billion approved in April for firearms was used.
Soldiers have also complained about the deplorable state of their equipment. In a five-minute video seen on Saturday, a soldier, while lamenting that dozens of troops had died in a recent attack, showed the burnt shells of several tanks and vehicles in the Metele base.
“See the weapons they bring here. These are not working. These are outdated vehicles, they are not working. They just keep them here for formality,” the soldier said.
The Nigerian Senate adjourned its session last Thursday to mourn the fallen soldiers, while President Muhammadu Buhari summoned the service chiefs over the attack.