The Sun News

Boko Haram: Army recovers corpses of Lt-Col, 15 other missing soldiers

Insurgents kill 4 in Borno

By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi

The Nigerian Army said it has recovered the corpses of  one officer and 15 soldiers,  found dead in a major river in the North-East.

Remains of the 16 soldiers, who were part of the 46 officially declared missing more than six weeks ago, were recovered  on January 5, 2017, at about 7:45pm, by soldiers in conjunction with the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), said Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major-General Lucky Irabor.

Irabor stated this at a press conference at the Military Command and Control Centre in Maiduguri, Borno State, yesterday.

He said the remains of the soldiers were found in River Yobe,

“On January 5, 2017, at about 0745hrs, our troops in conjunction with CJTF conducted clearance operation along Damasak–Gashigar Road. The troops successfully cleared Duoma, Asaga, Gashigar and other surrounding villages. At Asaga village, our troops encountered and dislodged some Boko Haram terrorist elements.

“Subsequently, the troops recovered corpses of one officer and 15 soldiers earlier declared missing in action, during their dislodgment from Gashigar on October 16, 2016. The corpses were recovered along Kamadugou River line. Among the recovered corpses was that of Lt-Col. K. Yusuf, the former Commanding Officer of 223 Tank Battalion. They have since been buried in Maimalari Cantonment Cemetery, with full military honours,” he said.

“About 83 soldiers manning a Forward Operation Base in Gashigar, Borno State, went missing in a major Boko Haram attack in the evening of October 16, 2016. After initial resistance, the troops abandoned their base and scampered for safety.

“As they retreated, some soldiers jumped into River Yobe to escape the advancing insurgents. The terrorists opened fire, nonetheless, killing some of the troops and wounding others,” Irabor said.

Thereafter, Yusuf was declared missing.

The Boko Haram insurgency has caused the death of about 20,000 people since 2009.

The terror group has, however, suffered major losses including its stronghold Sambisa Forest to soldiers last month.

A day after, on January 6, 2017 at about 11:40am, troops, according to Irabor, “while on patrol at Awti village General Area arrested one Alhaji Muhammed with gunshot wounds on his left leg. The suspect confessed to being among the Boko Haram terrorists who were ambushed by our troops around Rann on December 30, 2016. The suspect is currently undergoing medical treatment in one of our medical facilities while interrogation also is ongoing.”

Irabor said during a Boko Haram attack on January 7, 2017, an officer and three soldiers were killed.

“At about 1740hrs, some terrorists attacked our troops location through the Range Area. The troops repelled the attack. Sadly, an officer and three soldiers were killed in action. By first light the following day, own troops went pursuit of the attackers by trailing their tracks.

“The tracks led the troops through Golgore up to Buliasari village, where our troops discovered a camp observed to have been their staging area. Apart from one dead Boko Haram terrorists, discovered at the camp, a camel bag and several jackets, all soaked in blood, were discovered. The troops also found a pair of forceps, disposable hand gloves and cotton wool all stained in blood suspected to be as a result of the heavy casualty inflicted on Boko Haram terrorists during the attack.

“The camp, which was deserted, had a workshop, grinding mill, scattered settlements and livestock. Our troops also recovered two dane guns and a motorola GP 340 hand-held set. Thereafter, troops cleared the camp and exploited further to Ajigin and Talala General Area,”  Irabor said.


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