The five Nigerian soldiers were killed in an ambush along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway.

The Nigerian Army has announced that a colonel, a captain and three soldiers were killed in an ambush by Boko Haram terrorists.

According to a statement signed by the Deputy Director of Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Ado Isa, the soldiers were killed on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, after Boko Haram initially failed to infiltrate Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Jakana.

He said troops of 212 Battalion deployed at the base killed an unconfirmed number of terrorists who came in seven gun trucks, forcing them to retreat along the Benisheikh-Damaturu axis.

Colonel Isa disclosed that it was the fleeing terrorists who then laid an ambush for troops on transit from Maiduguri to Damaturu, leading to the death of the five soldiers.

Initial media reports had indicated that there were six casualties in the attack on the 29 Task Force Brigade. The identity of the slain soldiers have not been disclosed.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has commiserated with the families of the fallen soldiers, and also assured the public that the Nigerian Army will never be deterred in its fight against terrorism and insurgency in the North East.

He also commended the efforts of the troops in the theatre and charged them to remain focused, committed and professional in the discharge of their constitutional roles.

"The sacrifices of the fallen heroes in the ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency is no doubt painful to all, but that will further spur us to do more to ensure that our country remain secured, peaceful and free from terrorists activities for the overall interest of the nation," the statement read.

Since Boko Haram's insurgency escalated in 2009, it has killed around 30,000 people and displaced millions in the northeast region, with its operations also extending to border countries like CameroonChad and Niger.

Even though the powers of the Abubakar Shekau-led main faction of Boko Haram has been on the wane in the past couple of years, another faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), has grown in influence and carried out several savage attacks on military bases since last year.