Boko Haram reportedly kills 25 Nigerian soldiers after storming army base in Borno.
About 25 Nigerian soldiers reportedly lost their lives when terrorists belonging to the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP)—a Boko Haram faction--stormed an army base in Borno, Northeastern Nigeria.
The attack occurred on Monday, June 17, 2019 in the town of Gajiram, a report from Reuters details.
A military source who spoke to Reuters put the death toll at 25.
According to the story, the insurgents traveled on trucks mounted with guns. They attacked and sacked the base around 5:30 p.m. (1630 GMT) on the day.
The military source also revealed that fighting between the soldiers and the terrorists lasted three hours.
A local resident said he saw the bodies of six dead Nigerian soldiers.
Different death tolls
The insurgents put out a statement to say they burnt the barracks to the ground, although their death toll was slightly lower at 12.
“Twelve Nigerian soldiers were killed and others injured following an attack by Islamic State fighters on their barracks in the northern Nigerian town of Gajiram,” ISWAP said in a statement published on the SITE Intelligence website.
It is the second time an army base has been attacked and soldiers made to flee in Borno in one week.
Pulse had reported that On June 12, suspected Boko Haram militants overran a Nigerian army base in the village of Kareto in northeastern Borno state, killing at least a Commander.
Premium Times reports that at least 18 Nigerian troops have been killed and six others wounded after Boko Haram insurgents sacked a forward operating base in Borno State.
Premium Times quotes military sources in its story, writing that four different brands of armoured personnel carriers and other heavy military hardware were carted away when the insurgents overran the base in Gajiram, Nganzai Local Government Area.
“The attack occurred at about 4:30 p.m. on Monday, military sources said, but the scale of personnel and equipment casualties was still being clarified as of Wednesday afternoon”, a similar story in Premium Times, reads.
Combating Boko Haram
Suicide bombing incidents also reportedly killed a combined 60 people in two northern Nigerian states this week.
The attacks are at odds with government assertions that the terrorists are on their last legs.
Commiserating with the victims of the suicide bomb attacks, Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari assured compatriots that he “will ensure that the perpetrators are found and brought to justice, and we will also continue to give our law enforcement agencies all the support and resources they require to prevent these attacks and keep our communities.
“In recent times we have established new Forward Operating Bases in vulnerable communities. We’re now set to launch more FOBs. We will scale up military operations while the States support with logistics and local intelligence. Together we will defeat these bandits and criminals”.
Boko Haram has killed more than 30,000 people and displaced millions more since it commenced its insurgency against the Nigerian state in 2009.
The Nigerian federal government repeatedly claims that Boko Haram has been "technically defeated" and that its pockets of soft target attacks in recent times are akin to the last kicks of a dying horse.
However, sustained efforts to eradicate the insurgents have failed and the military continues to suffer heavy losses.
Spokespersons for the Nigerian army were not immediately available for comments for this story.
Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, recently blamed army commanders and their lack of professionalism for recent defeats at the hands of the terrorists.
“It is unfortunate, but the truth is that almost every setback the Nigeria army has had in our operations in recent times can be traced to insufficient willingness to perform assigned tasks: or simply insufficient commitment to a common national/military course by those at the frontlines.
“Many of those on whom the responsibility for physical actions against the adversary squarely falls are yet to fully take ownership of our common national or service cause", Buratai said.
The army chief also warned his men to "lead, follow or get out of the way.’’