The Nigerian Army has revealed that 16 soldiers were killed in a series of Boko Haram attacks on troops within the period of two weeks in Borno State.
According to a statement signed by Brigadier General Sani Usman on Wednesday, November 28, terrorists staged the series of attacks on Nigerian troops between November 2 and November 17.
The attacks took place in Kukawa, Ngoshe, Kareto and Gajiram, all in Borno, but were 'successfully repelled' by troops who killed 'several members' of the terrorist group. However, 16 soldiers were killed in the attacks while 12 were injured.
The statement read, "In the recent weeks, Nigerian troops deployed in the North East of Nigeria under Operation LAFIYA DOLE have come under series of attacks by large numbers of Boko Haram terrorists.
"Specifically, the Nigerian Army troops deployed at Kukawa, Ngoshe, Kareto and Gajiram came under attack at different times within a 2 week period from 2 - 17th November 2018.
"Each of these incidents were successfully repelled and several members of the terrorists were killed. However, a total of 16 personnel were killed in the course of these attacks while 12 soldiers were wounded in action and are receiving treatment at our military medical facilities."
The statement also disclosed that a total of 23 soldiers were killed when terrorists overran the 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele village in Guzamala local government area of Bornoduring an attack on November 18.
The attacks are believed to have been carried out by Boko Haram faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), which controls the Lake Chad region.
The Army commiserated with the families of the gallant officers and soldiers that were killed and promised their sacrifices will not be in vain.
The Army also noted that despite systematically degrading Boko Haram in the past three years, the terrorists are staging a resurgence with daring moves that include the increased use of drones against troops' defensive positions and infusion of foreign fighters in their ranks.
"These potent threats require us to continually review our operations," the statement read.
Eliminate Boko Haram 'from face of the earth'
President Muhammadu Buhari was in Maiduguri, Borno on Wednesday to declare open the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Annual Conference as the guest of honour.
While delivering his speech, the president charged the military's leadership to ensure that their plans and programmes meet the nation's security challenges. He also urged the Army to remain committed to defeating Boko Haram.
"I want to encourage our troops not to be distracted by whatever speculations but remain focused and committed to the task of eliminating Boko Haram from the face of the earth," he said.
He said security remains one of the cardinal objectives of his administration and promised that no effort will be spared to support troops, including reviewing their welfare package.
"I want to assure you that, as your commander in chief, I will do everything within my powers to continue empowering you by providing all the necessary equipment for you to prevail on the field.
"I also want you to be aware that I'm currently looking into measures to improve your entitlements and welfare generally," he said.