The Nigerian Army on Friday said soldiers who disappeared after a fierce encounter with Boko Haram insurgents at Gudumbali area of Borno State have rejoined their unit.
The Army’s admission that the missing troops have rejoined their unit has further validated PREMIUM TIMES exclusive story that at least 105 soldiers attached to the 157 battalion went missing after they came under intense attack from Boko Haram insurgents on Wednesday.
But in attempts to cover up the setback suffered by its troops and discredit PREMIUM TIMES exclusive report on the matter, senior officials of the Nigerian Army made at least four contradictory statements in the last 24 hours.
In the latest statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday, spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, however admitted the return of the missing soldiers, lamenting that the army suffered a “slight setback”.
“Nigerian troops operating in the Northern Borno State towns of Gudumbali and Kareto had slight setback within the week. However, the situation is being stabilized.
“The troops have re-joined their units for further action.
“The earlier media reports were exaggerated. The CO (Commanding Officer) is currently with his soldiers.
“The incidence was just a minor setback, which is common in military operations,” Mr. Usman, a colonel, said in a brief statement.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the commanding officer, alongside a few other soldiers, emerged from the bush in a van several hours after the encounter.
It was also gathered that some injured soldiers were taken to the 7 Division hospital in Borno State.
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