At least four soldiers were killed and 16 others injured in a bomb attack on Sunday, the Army has said.
The attack occured when suspected Boko Haram members staged an ambush on an army convoy outside Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Since the split in its leadership between the erratic Abubakar Shekau, and Abu-Musab Albarnawi, in August this year, Boko Haram, a group the Nigeria army claimed to have decimated, has stepped up its hostility targeting mostly soldiers and civilians in remote locations.
The Sunday attack took place on the day the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, made his first video appearance in about six months. It brings to 10 the number of soldiers the Nigerian Army confirmed killed in clashes with Boko Haram in the last six days.
Earlier on Sunday, the Army had confirmed the death of another four soldiers in a battle with insurgents at the Dikwa-Gambarou road in Borno. Two other soldiers were injured in that battle while 22 insurgents were killed, the Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, said.
In the latest attack, Mr. Usman, a Colonel, said in a statement on Sunday night that troops on administrative patrol were ambushed by Boko Haram insurgents.
“Today, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on administration patrol from Maiduguri encountered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and ambush between Miyanti and Dareljamal, Borno State,” he said.
“The ambush was cleared and 3 Boko Haram terrorists were killed by the troops. They also recovered a Machine Gun, 1 AK-47 Rifle and some quantity of ammunition.
“Unfortunately, we lost an officer and 3 soldiers, while 16 soldiers and 3 Civilian JTF sustained injuries during the encounter. Similarly, 2 vehicles that entered the IED were badly damaged. The wounded have since been evacuated and are in stable condition”.
The Boko Haram leader had in his Sunday video threatened the Nigerian government and the military of more attacks. He also demanded the release of his detained members in exchange for the abducted Chibok school girls that have been in his group’s custody since April 14, 2014, when they were taken away from their school dormitory.
The Boko Haram insurgency has caused the death of over 20,000 people and displaced over two million others in Northeastern Nigeria since 2010.
The group is rated the deadliest terror group in the world giving the spate of its attacks.
The group in apparent bid to increase its depleted rank of fighters offered to free the over 200 Chibok girls in exchange for its arrested members.
President Muhammadu Buhari last week sought the mediation of the United Nations in any prisoner swap, saying the split in the leadership of Boko Haram makes it difficult for his government to know whom to trust.