The Nigerian military on Monday denied that about 23 soldiers and eight trucks went missing last week after the troops suffered an ambush attack by Boko Haram gunmen in Bama local government area of Borno State.
The attack occurred last Friday. The military did not make public the attack until the media published it on Sunday.
A spokesperson for the Nigeria Army, Texas Chukwu, who confirmed the incident, however said it was “blown out of proportion by the media”.
Mr Chukwu, a brigadier general, said none of the soldiers were missing. He said the troops suffered an attack by Boko Haram on the stated date, but were able to rally courage to repel the attackers killing about 22 of them.
The statement was issued to the media as the military command in Maiduguri, Borno, invited journalists to a press briefing on the attack.
But the theatre commander who arrived the venue of the press conference some few minutes to 10am suddenly announced to journalists that the press conference would be suspended for about 30 minutes to enable the officers have a teleconference briefing with the chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai.
A statement was later released by Mr Chukwu.
The theatre commander and other top officers were still in the closed door meeting which had lasted for about two hours as at the time of filing this report.