On Monday security sources said At slightest five Nigerian soldiers were killed while 30 are missing three days after Boko Haram jihadist overran an army base.
The Islamic State West Africa Province Gunmen, the Boko Haram IS-linked group, attacked the base in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state on Friday.
officer added “We have recovered five bodies of soldiers who paid the supreme price fighting the terrorists,” a military officer told AFP, giving the first reports of casualty numbers. “Search and rescue teams are still looking for around 30 more soldiers who have gone missing since the attack.
ISWAP fighters on Friday launched an assault on the pedestal at Mararrabar Kimba, 135 kilometres (86 miles) from Maiduguristate capital.
The fighters, reportedly driving over a dozen pickup trucks with heavy machine guns welded onto the back, were accompany by four armoured personnel carriers and flanked by a fleet of gunmen firing from motorbikes.
Some soldiers spread into the bush to escape. A next officer confirmed the toll of five dead. “There are high hopes the missing soldiers will be found or will find their way back,” he added. “We are not thinking of the worst scenario.”
There was no immediate official answer from the army. The decade-long so called jihadist conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and forced millions from their homes.
The violence has stretch to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military partnership against the jihadists.
Coalition forces involving Nigeria In recent weeks, Chad and Cameroon have been throbbing insurgent hideouts in the Lake Chad areas with airstrikes, as well as launching ground assaults.
The ISWAP group tear from the main Boko Haram group in 2016, but there are information that the two groups might be merging back together. Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai Nigerian army chief last week warned of an ISWAP-Boko Haram alliance to carve out a jihadist enclave stretching from Nigeria’s northeast into the wider Lake Chad region.