The Operation Lafiya Dole yesterday confirmed that it lost 13 soldiers and a police officer Monday when Boko Haram insurgents ambushed them along the Damaturu-Maiduguri highway.
Theatre Command’s spokesman and deputy director, Public Relations, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, who confirmed the incident in a statement, said several insurgents were equally killed in another encounter.
He stated: “Troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Monday 24th December 2018 repelled a Boko Haram terrorists’ attack on a Forward Operational Base at Kukareta in Damaturu Local Government Area of Yobe state.
“The terrorists, who attacked the location at about 6. 30 pm, were met with prompt and fierce response of the vigilant troops who engaged and overpowered them, killing several of the terrorists. Unfortunately however, a soldier was wounded in the encounter.
“In another encounter, troops of 1 Division on escort duty along Damaturu-Maiduguri road yesterday (Monday) fought through an ambush staged by Boko Haram terrorists. The gallant troops engaged the terrorists in a fire fight, courageously wading through the ambush.
“Sadly, thirteen military and a police personnel, including a police officer, paid the supreme price while extricating themselves from the ambush.
“A clearance operation to pursue and eliminate the Boko Haram terrorists ambush party is still ongoing.
“The bodies of the gallant soldiers and the policeman and the wounded have been evacuated. The wounded soldier is currently receiving treatment.”
In a related development, some soldiers and two policemen were said to have been killed when Boko Haram insurgents attacked a military base at Kuka-reta village, 20 kilometre from Damaturu, Yobe State, Monday evening.
A security source told our correspondent yesterday that the bodies of the soldiers were recovered.