No less than seven Nigerian soldiers were killed by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, during an attack on a military base in Borno State near the Niger border.
The army tweeted that the troops from the 157 Battalion were in a battle with the militants on Monday in Metele, a village in Borno State, adding that reinforcements were being deployed in Kangarwa and Arege.
Seven soldiers died and 16 were wounded “in action,” the army said on Wednesday, October 10, but military and civilian militia sources put the death toll higher.
“We lost 18 men in the fight which lasted for seven hours,” a military officer told AFP, speaking from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri.
“Our men fought hard and dealt heavy blows on the terrorists but they were overwhelmed by the enemy who overran the base,” said the officer who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak on the incident.
A civilian militia assisting the military in fighting the jihadists said that on Tuesday 18 bodies of soldiers were brought to the garrison town of Monguno, 120 kilometres from the attacked base.
“The fighting was fierce. It started around 4:30 p.m. and continued till 11:30 p.m.,” the militiaman said.
Boko Haram suffered “heavy” casualties but managed to invade the base and take weapons, he said, adding that the jihadists destroyed “those they could not take away.”
“The sustained superior firepower of the troops led to the neutralization of 76 BHTs [Boko Haram terrorists],” the army tweeted.