Some soldiers were on Tuesday involved in a fierce battle with Boko Haram fighters in northern Borno, an official said.
The soldiers were from the Nigeria army, Multinational Joint Task Force. and the Nigeria Air Force.
The spokesperson of the Nigeria Army, Sani Usman, said many insurgents were killed in the heated gun battle that took place in Mallam Fatori village, the headquarters of Abadam Local Government Area of Borno.
Some parts of Mallam Fatori, a border community near Niger Republic, were still under the control of Boko Haram despite the military’s efforts at reclaiming most of the territory initially occupied by the insurgents.
Mr. Usman, a Colonel, said troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and Multinational Joint Task Force “captured Mallam Fatori in northernmost part of Borno State after a fierce battle closely covered by air operations.”
However, the insurgents seemed to have leveraged on the advantage of the area being their stronghold to regroup and re-launch another round of hostility despite the massive casualty they were said to have incurred.
“The terrorists reinforced around the border with Niger Republic,” Mr. Usman said.
“This was while the troops were consolidating on this success. The troops killed several of the Boko Haram terrorists in the resulting encounter and subsequently had to withdraw to a vantage position”.
Mallam Fatori is one of the first communities, outside Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to suffer from Boko Haram attacks in 2013.
In July 2013, Boko Haram insurgents attacked the community, shooting and setting parts of the village on fire. Most residents were forced to flee to Niger Republic as refugees.
Since then, Boko Haram has continued to hold the area as one of its strongholds by defying most military operations launched by both the federal troops and Multinational Joint Task Force.
Mallam Fatori is about 204 kilometres north of Maiduguri. It is the farthest village and local government headquarters from the state capital. It is the only part of the state that has no tarred road, but open sandy desert routes, leading to it.