The Nigerian Army has confirmed the death of one soldier and severe injuries sustained by four others in yet another Boko Haram attack on a military base in Borno State Saturday.
The Army said in a statement on Facebook the tragedy occured when troops repelled attempts by Boko Haram insurgents to overrun a battalion in Gashigar, a Nigerian community near the border with Niger Republic.
Boko Haram fighters “were completely routed” when they stormed the 145 Battalion in Gashigar Saturday, the Army said. “They fled in disarray due to superior firepower by the gallant troops and support from the Nigerian Air Force.”
The Army did not immediately disclose the identity of the soldier that was killed in action during the attack, nor did it say how many suspected terrorists were gunned down by soldiers, promising to provide more details of the attack later.
The statement, however, disclosed that the wounded were immediately evacuated to Maiduguri for treatment using a Bell 412 helicopter.
The Nigerian Air Force confirmed the attack on Sunday afternoon, saying Boko Haram elements arrived in 13 gun trucks and made attempts to down military helicopters. Air Force spokesperson, Ibikunle Daramola, said the insurgents were engaged several times between Saturday night and Sunday morning, amidst attempts to drive them away from the general area.
Nigerian soldiers have repeatedly come under attack by Boko Haram in the North-east, with scores of soldiers being killed in action in the last three months. These attacks are recurring despite claims by the Nigerian government that it had defeated the insurgency.
The military has said it recorded tremendous gains over the past three years, especially for its success in confining the insurgents to the fringes of Nigerian territories, as against the years before when the deadly Islamists were holding vast Nigerian lands across its North-east stronghold.