The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has confirmed the killing of at least 47 soldiers by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group in Borno State.
The Director of Defence Information, Major General John Enenche, disclosed this during a session with reporters on Tuesday in Abuja.
Giving an update on the military operations across the country, he noted that Nigeria was in a fluid conflict situation while the troops were at the frontlines.
Enenche explained that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole were on clearance and fighting patrol operation to Gorgi in Borno between March 21 and 23.
“During consolidation, they (the troops) were ambushed by elements of Boko Haram terrorists. Sadly, we suffered some casualties in the unfortunate attack,” he said.
The DHQ spokesman, however, revealed that the Air Component of Operation Lafiya Dole scrambled immediately to the scene and provided close air support to the ground troops.
He added that the Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform, as well as the fighter jets engaged the insurgents, killing some of the terrorists and immobilising a gun truck belonging to them.
“Some others (terrorists) who attempted to withdraw were also mopped up by the jets in follow-on attacks.
“The Defence Headquarters commiserate with the families of our fallen gallant heroes who paid the supreme price in the course of defending our fatherland,” Enenche said.
He assured Nigerians that the military and other security agencies would continue to sustain the offensive against the enemies of the nation.
The military spokesman added that this would be done in furtherance of the objective of restoring peace and security in the North East and other parts of the country.
Contrary to the figures stated by the DHQ, reports say at least 70 soldiers were killed in the ambush on the security operatives’ convoy.
The insurgents reportedly fired rocket-propelled grenades at a lorry conveying the troops as it travelled near Gorgi village on Monday.