There are reports of heavy casualties on both sides as a Nigerian Army outpost of the 157 Battalion stationed at the Metele village near Kangarwa in Borno State came under a brazen assault by Boko Haram insurgents, inspite of repeated assurances from the government of Nigeria that the terrorist group had been degraded.
At least 18 soldiers were independently reported to have been killed in battle on the night of Wednesday October 10, although the army claims 7 as their casualty figure.
About 15 officers and 500 soldiers were at the base in Metele before the attack.
Unfortunately, the NA lost 7 soldiers while 16 were wounded in action. The #COAS Lt Gen TY Buratai has commiserated with the families of the deceased and directed that the wounded be given adequate medical attention. Details later.
— Nigerian Army (@HQNigerianArmy) October 10, 2018
Scores of soldiers, some say at least 150 of them, are still missing and their fate unknown but the military statement had no word on that. The Nigerian military has suffered a demoralizing string of losses this year from daring assaults on even military formations by the terrorist group prompting the army chief, Tukur Buratai, to warn soldiers only a few weeks ago of the harsh consequences for army desertion.
The theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Ahmed Dikko, visited the troops to rally them and felicitate with the the wounded receiving treatment at 7 Division Hospital some 115 kilometres from Metele.
In the morning of Saturday October 13, the army headquarters fired yet another tweet of another attack the previous night on the 118 Battalion stationed at Arege, in Mobarr LGA of Borno State.
More details are yet to emerge about this latest attack.
JUST IN: BHT attack troops of 118 Batallion at Arege. At about 5 p.m yesterday 12 October 2018, Gallant Troops of 118 Battalion successfully repelled a Boko Haram Attack on troops stationed at Arege in Mobarr LGA Borno State.
— Nigerian Army (@HQNigerianArmy) October 13, 2018
The Boko Haram insurgency, raging since 2009 had brought untold deaths, misery and economic devastation to Borno State and north-east Nigeria, where at least 4 million persons are internally displaced due to the crises.
Estimates are that at least 100,000 may have been killed, while some put the figures significantly higher, in the 8-year conflict which has defied two administrations including the current one of Mohammadu Buhari, a former army general, who rode to power on the promise to crush the group within one year.
Buhari is bracing up for a re-election bid in February 2019, in a contest in which his record on national security will be a topical issue for debate.