Seven army recruits killed, 20 injured as Nigerian troops, Boko Haram battle in Borno

FILE PHOTO: Nigerian Army troops clearing Boko Haram enclaves along Bitta to Tokumbere, Sambisa Forest, Borno state

At least seven newly recruited Nigerian soldiers were killed in battle Thursday night after troops of the Nigerian Army and Boko Haram terrorists engaged in a prolonged exchange of gunfire in northern Borno State.

No fewer than 20 others were injured in the gun battle which occurred along the Maiduguri-Dikwa road in the North-Eastern State, military insiders told PREMIUM TIMES. Dikwa is 70 kilometres east of Maiduguri.

Three other soldiers, including a female, were declared missing after the incident, our sources said.

Witnesses said the battle began at about 7:30 p.m. on Thursday after a detachment of troops, put at about 250 soldiers and one officer, ran into a Boko Haram ambush as they travelled through the area in army trucks and buses owned by the Borno State Government.

Our sources said the terrorists suddenly emerged in huge numbers from surrounding bushes and opened fire on the travelling troops, most of whom are said to be young soldiers fresh from training. The soldiers are said to be members of the 76 Regular Recruit Intake of Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria.

The terrorists were said to be in a “surprisingly large number and armed with sophisticated weapons” and did a lot of damage before the soldiers could alight from their buses to fight back.

After the soldiers emerged from their vehicles, a prolonged fire-fight ensued, with seven of them falling in battle, and 20 others suffering varying degrees of injuries.

The army then sent reinforcement to the scene, but by the time those soldiers arrived, the Boko terrorists had fled into surrounding bushes and villages, making away with a gun truck, a mine detector, some AK 47 rifles, explosives and other weapons.

When contacted on the incident on Friday, Army Spokesperson, Sani Usman, said he was yet to be briefed on the matter.

Mr. Usman, a brigadier general, directed further enquiries at the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Lucky Irabor.

Mr. Irabor, a major general, did not answer or return calls as at 5:49 p.m Nigerian time when this report was published.

The latest incident happened two weeks after another batch of terrorists attacked a military base in Kamuya, Yobe State.

Military insiders said three soldiers were killed as the terrorists stormed the military base from three different directions on January 25, shooting non-stop for over 30 minutes.

The firing was so intense that the troops initially withdrew from their location, our sources said.

However, a reinforcement was quickly sent from Buni Yadi to join the troops on ground.

After hours of intense fighting, the troops were able to retake the camps, with the terrorists fleeing.

They however made away with several high calibre weapons and sophisticated communication equipment, including mortals, mine detectors, Rocket Propelled Grenade and bombs.

A large number of Boko Haram terrorists were said to have been killed in battle with some fleeing the scene with gunshot wounds.

Twenty-three soldiers were declared missing after that battle.

Insiders told PREMIUM TIMES Friday the soldiers were yet to be seen.


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  • kenmege

    travelling in vehicles provided by the borno state governor?
    when can we stop wasting the lives of our young soldiers?
    no equipment,no operational vehicles,poor wages and boko haram to deal with?
    how are we sure that the boko haram guys did not coordinate with people in borno state government house after the release of the vehicles? i weep.

  • Daniel

    No surprises at all. Let me state clearly on this forum, the power succession battle has begun.

    Those who need boko haram to retain power in the North in 2019 will channel funds to them and revive terror big time.

    Our unity is a farce.

  • 678

    The work of MOLES in the Army!

  • Kickboxer

    Brainless Buhari and APC action…

  • emmanuel

    Bornu State Government Buses. Why should Soldiers in a war torn area ride in Buses? Kassim Shetima is more dangerous to Nigeria than all of Boko Haram insurgents.
    Recall how he set Chibok Girls up for kidnap?
    Remember the Boko Hram leader arrested in Bornu State Liason office in Abuja? How about the one arrested in Government House in Maiduguri? Is it not time to have Shettima answer some questions?

  • emailofemi

    Thank God Boko Haram have been technically defeated…this government is really working

    • Gary

      Yes, we can only imagine how rough the situation would have been had they not been “technically” defeated. Meanwhile the body count continues with hit and run attacks and suicide bombings.

  • Mentus

    Does Nigerian army not have intelligence, how come they are always taken unawares by these attacks. It is obvious Boko Haram has an informer if not informers in the army, which is why they not only successfully attack the army but invariably cart away military weapons in these attacks.
    The unfortunate thing is that lives of poor innocent and unsuspecting young Nigerian men
    and women are sacrificed in the alter of the evil ‘game’ that is being played in North East. Government is deceiving itself by claiming former BH can be successfully de-radicalised and integrated into normal life or even recruited in the army.

    • marc umeh

      This is a big shame. It will happen again and again. These troops lives are being sacrificed. They are sitting ducks. BH are aware of their movement. They have informers all over there— both civilian and military. You never hear of hot pursuit. Always defending from a vulnerable position. It takes a large BH gathering , planning and movement to mount such an attack. And they are saying our intell cant even pick that up.?

  • GusO

    It’s high time Nigeria’s soldiers get armored personnel carriers to move between places when on patrols. Nigerian Army needs to become a modern army well armed to deter terrorists and bandits. With more money coming into government coffers right now, personnel carriers should be budgeted and the military top brass should purchase them and not steal the money as they used to do.


    I didn’t read the stuff, but it sounds like a lie to me.

  • SAM .A

    The resurgent of the much announced defeated BH is a slap on our leaders and planners of this project . We are loosing too many innocent soldiers . It is time to do complete enumeration and fingerprint of all able bodied adults , issue them special ID cards . This will help eliminate recruitments into BH rag tag army , help identify the foreigners who are killing our people . The SS has a bigger role to expose the suppliers of this sophisticated weapons used by BH , the route through which these weapons entered Nigeria . We all know it did not fall from the sky . Who ever is cought aiding and abetting BH should be given public execution like Iyamu the Police Officer of Aninin fame . Enough is enough .

  • Toba Aribilola

    is like there is a fire on the mountain about this boko haram. let the army check theirself for these killing to stop