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Boko Haram: Army clarifies reports of casualties; re-groups for Sambisa attack

COAS Major General Tukur Buratai
COAS Major General Tukur Buratai

The Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, has confirmed earlier reports which claimed that Nigerian troops suffered heavy casualties attempting to storm the epicentre of the Sambisa forest in Borno in the push against the Boko Haram insurgents, Thursday.

The troops ‘had slight setback within the week. However, the situation is being stabilised,’ Usman, said late Thursday night.

“The troops have re-joined their units for further action. The earlier media reports were exaggerated. The CO is currently with his soldiers. The incidence was just a minor setback which is common in military operations. May God help us all.”

Earlier, Media Coordinator Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Tukur Ismail Gusau, said in a statement: “The attention of the Theatre Command Headquarters Maiduguri has been drawn to various releases on social media on the operation at Gudumbali, northern Borno State. Most of the publications are not only fictions but imagination of the writers that have no iota of knowledge on military operation.

“Unfortunately, this is coming at a time when the military has created several avenues for them to get first hand information on our activities. In the quest to be on the same footing with each Nigerian, Media centre was established in the North East. Additional to this is the open door policy of the leadership style of our chief of Army Staff Lt Gen TY Buratai where he carries throughout his operational engagements media personalities. For the records Gulumba was captured by own troops on 10 November 2015 and our troops deployed to secure and weed off Boko Haram terrorists. The location was attacked yesterday morning which resulted in fierce battle till afternoon.

“Troops went for pursuit after which they mop and reorganise. The unit suffered some injuries and casualties and equally killed several insurgents. The Nigerian Army has nothing to hide but we call all patriots to support these troops that are courageously fighting for peace and security of our nation.

“The Theatre Command wishes to state that the story is far from the truth and misrepresentation of facts. In fact, it smacks of the imagination of those sympathetic to Boko Haram terrorists.

“It should be stated here that, although the unit suffered some casualties, what the medium was reporting was grossly exaggerated for reasons best known to them. The number of casualty and equipment lost as being circulated is not correct; the situation was unnecessarily blown beyond proportion to give terrorists the type of propaganda they desired. The affected personnel sustained only minor injuries, not gunshot wounds.”

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