At least seven Nigerian soldiers have been confirmed killed after a deadly ambush by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State.
The affected soldiers were attached to the 153 Task Force Battalion in Marte Local Government Council of the state, sources familiar with the matter told PREMIUM TIMES.
According to the sources, the troops were caught by surprise when the terrorists swooped on them at 10 a.m. on Monday.
They, however, put up a strong fight to defend their base and ward off the insurgents.
But despite their gallant efforts, the soldiers were overwhelmed “because they could not withstand the superior firepower of the terrorists”, our sources said.
The unit, which was totally dislodged, has now been moved to Dikwa, another local government area, a development that has now opened up Marte to further attacks.
To this end, the army authorities have issued advisories to troops in Sector 3 (especially those in Baga, Cross Kauwa, Kekeno and Monguno and the areas surrounding Marte) to be on red alert.
Monday’s attack on Marte Local Government by the extremist Boko Haram group makes it the third onslaught on the area in a month, military insiders said.
The terrorists had ambushed soldiers at the location on January 10 and 15. The casualty rates from those attacks are unknown.
The group claimed responsibility for those attacks and held the base for a few days before they were dislodged by the Nigerian Army.
The troops of operation Tura Taka Bango, in collaboration with the air force, had destroyed seven of the group’s militarised trucks and decimated several terrorists.
During the last attacks, thousands of civilians fled to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, which lies around 130 kilometres away.
Army spokesperson, Mohammed Yerima, did not respond to enquiries on the latest attack when contacted via telephone calls, WhatsApp messages and SMS.
The Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria has caused over 37,500 deaths since 2011, according to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs.
An estimated 2.5 million people are also believed to have been displaced from the country`s North-east states and the Lake Chad Basin, with at least 244,000 of them now refugees in the neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
The Nigerian military has been able to limit the activities of the terror group to the three North-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
However, the group still carries out deadly attacks on civilian and military targets in those three states.