One Nigerian soldier was on Monday night confirmed dead after a Boko Haram attack.
Thirteen of the insurgents were also killed after the attackers were repelled, the army said.
Three other soldiers were injured in the attack on ground troops at Kangarwa Village in northern Borno State. The attack was repelled by a combination of Nigeria Air Force aircraft and Nigerian Army officials.
Monday’s attack came at about the time the Nigeria military was burying five soldiers including Abu Ali, a lieutenant colonel who had been commended by the army hierarchy for his role in the war. The five soldiers also died in a Boko Haram ambush.
The Monday incident was confirmed in two separate statements issued by the spokespersons of the Nigeria Army and the Air Force, Sani Usman and Ayodele Famuyiwa respectively.
In the statement by Mr. Famuyiwa, a group captain, he said “the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter aircraft yesterday repelled attack by the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) on own ground troops at Kangarwa in northern Borno State.”
“Following the report of the attack, 3 x fighter jets and a reconnaissance aircraft were immediately deployed for the operation.”
“While the fighter aircraft were scrambled to repel the attack, the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft was deployed to give guidance to ground troops on the position equipment and strength of the BHTs.”
Mr. Famuyiwa added that “the operation which started at about 1700 hours (5pm) continued till late evening at about 1915 hours (7:15pm) before the attack was successfully repelled.”
The Air Force spokesperson also provided a Youtube Link https://youtu.be/3KcD8jvMc60 of the face off in Kangarwa.
In his statement, Mr. Usman said the Boko Haram attack was on troops of 119 Task Force Battalion, 8 Division of the Nigerian Army.
He said the troops were able to “neutralize 13 of the attacking Boko Haram terrorists.”
“Unfortunately”, Mr. Usman said, “one soldier paid the supreme price during the encounter, while 3 soldiers were wounded in action.”
He said the troops had to call for air support as the attack dragged on.
“The offensive which began at about 4.00pm and lasted for roughly four hours, necessitated the troops calling for air support to which the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) promptly responded by dispatching an Intelligence Surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft and a Ground Attack Fighter Aircraft in support of the ground offensive.”, he said.
The army spokesperson said the fierce encounter also saw some insurgents fleeing with gunshot wounds while abandoning their weapons and some personal effects.
“The troops also neutralized 2 Hilux vehicles belonging to the insurgents and recovered the following: a Hilux vehicle, 1 Browning Machine Gun (BMG), 1 Anti Aircraft Gun (AAG), 2 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), 1 Light Machine Gun (LMG), 2 Rocket Propelled Guns Seven (RPG 7) tubes and bombs, 5 AK-47 Rifles and 550 Rounds of Anti-Aircraft Gun ammunition”, he said.