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Army loses 31 soldiers to Boko Haram in one month

Olaleye Aluko, Abuja

The Nigerian Army has revealed that 28 of its men were killed while three others were abducted during different clashes with members of the Boko Haram sect in February 2017.

The Army, in a statement released by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, said the casualties were recorded in Borno and Yobe states.

Irabor further revealed that the clearance and ambush operations rescued about 59 women and children while over 300 insurgents were killed in the month under review.

READ ALSO: Army recovers corpses of missing officer, 15 soldiers in Borno

Our correspondent gathered from the breakdown that three soldiers were killed during a clearance operation at Buk area, while eight soldiers died in a Boko Haram ambush on Ajiri-Dikwa Road. Also, on February 24, an officer and 11 soldiers were killed at a military base in Gajiram, while three others went missing in action.

Four soldiers were killed on Talala-Ajigin road and Waiyaram village.

Irabor said items recovered from the insurgents included improvised explosive device vests, two solar panels, a Boko Haram flag, four copies of the Quran, and a national identity card.

He said, “On February 1, troops cleared a Boko Haram camp at Dusala where one machine gun, 2 RPG tubes and one gun barrel were recovered. Thereafter, our troops came in contact with the terrorists where sadly, three soldiers were killed in action. Troops also cleared Chongolo Gana villages and killed 13 terrorists.

“Troops also cleared Giri and Jabulam villages and killed 13 insurgents. On February 9, our troops encountered a Boko Haram ambush and eight soldiers were killed. Eighteen others were wounded and three others missing in action.

“On February 24, some Boko Haram terrorists also attacked our troops location at Gajiram. Sadly, one officer and 10 soldiers were killed in action. A total of 7,898 civilians were rescued or arrested as suspected terrorists. Eight foreigners were also arrested.”

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Meanwhile the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, has urged communities in southern Kaduna to give timely and accurate tip-offs to the military so that the activities of ‘killer’ herdsmen can be curtailed.

The Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said, “The military are in Southern Kaduna to complement the efforts of the other security agencies. We are doing this to ensure that there is no place for insecurity.

“The whole operation is intelligence and information-driven. This is where the people come in. They must give us timely and accurate information, which will not just lead to the arrest, but to the prosecution of the herdsmen.”

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