Metele attack: Army evacuates bodies of dead soldiers
The Army command in Maiduguri have evacuated bodies of soldiers killed by Boko Haram insurgents on Sunday at Metele village in Guzamala Local Government Area of North Borno State, The Nation has learnt.
A military source who spoke to the The Nation on condition of anonymity disclosed that over seventy dead soldiers have been evacuated to Maiduguri by the military after the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole and the GOC, 7 Div on Friday went to Monguno to strategised and recover bodies of the slain soldiers.
The source further said more than one hundred soldiers were feared dead in the Metele attack.
The Nation also gathered that the first rescue and evacuation team was foiled after Boko Haram launched an attack that forced them into abandoning the mission.
“As of today, the bodies of some of the dead soldiers have been evacuated and brought to Maiduguri. More than seventy dead bodies have been brought. But I am sure many may not have been recovered. I am not sure but the soldiers that died in that attack will be more than one hundred” he said.
A soldier that escaped the attack and doesn’t want his name in print said an advanced team of the insurgents came into the based as friendly forces and went into the office of the commander where they fired at him and five other soldiers that were with him in his office.
According to the source, the troops got confused after hearing sound of gunshots from their commander’s office.
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He said, “We saw some people dressed in full military uniform came into our camp but we thought they were friendly forces. They went straight to the office of our commander. Within a short time, there were gunshots in the office. we got confused waiting for orders but it was too late. Boko Haram had already surrendered us. They killed the commander with five other soldiers that were with him in the office. Before we knew what was going on, there was heavy gunfire from Boko Haram from all sides of the camp with more fire at the entrance. One of our anti–bomb vehicle tried to charge through the barbwire but got hook. It was a terrible fight oga, (sic). We couldn’t do much because they had a large number and their firepower was more superior than ours”.
Further checks also revealed that Boko Haram in September of this year sacked six military formations from that axis with each of them coming with a heavy casualties on the side of the Nigerian troops.
It would be recalled that Nigerian troops in Metele suffered similar attacks in September this year where about 18 Nigerian soldiers were killed while another over 151 soldiers and six officers were declared missing in the same area in another devastating attack on the 157 Battalion on October 8, 2018.
The official figures released by the military where seven soldiers killed and sixteen injured. They claimed to have killed at least 76 Boko Haram fighters in Metele as at then.
Effort by The Nation to get Army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Chukwu Texas to react to this report were unsuccessful as as calls and text messages to his known numbers where not answered to.
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