The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday confirmed the killing in an ambush of 47 soldiers by members of the Boko Haram sect in Borno State.
The clarification, which was in the wake of 70-casualty figure earlier circulated on the social media, was made by the Director of Defence Information, Major General John Enenche, during a session with reporters in Abuja.
Giving an update on the military operations across the country, he noted that Nigeria was in a fluid conflict situation while the troops were at the frontlines.
Enenche explained that the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole were on clearance and fighting patrol operation to Gorgi in Borno between March 21 and 23.
“During consolidation, they (the troops) were ambushed by elements of Boko Haram terrorists.
Sadly, we suffered some casualties in the unfortunate attack,” he disclosed.
The DHQ spokesman, however, revealed that the Air Component of Operation Lafiya Dole scrambled immediately to the scene and provided close air support to the ground troops.
He added that the Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform, as well as the fighter jets engaged the insurgents, killing some of the terrorists and immobilising a gun truck belonging to them.
“Some of the terrorists who attempted to withdraw were also mopped up by the jets in follow-on attacks.
“The Defence Headquarters commiserates with the families of our fallen gallant heroes who paid the supreme price in the course of defending our fatherland,” Enenche added.
The spokesman assured Nigerians that the military and other security agencies would continue to sustain the offensive against the insurgents.
Enenche added that this would be done in furtherance of the objective of restoring peace and security in the North East and other parts of the federation.