The Defence Headquarters has confirmed the killing of two officers by Boko Haram terrorists. The soldiers, Lt-Col. A.E. Mamudu, a commanding officer of the Nigerian Army Strike Force Group, and a young naval officer, were both killed by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in Sambisa Forest while on patrol in Operation Deep Punch 2.
However, the ongoing war against Boko Haram and the crackdown on remnants of the group in Borno State had another major breakthrough as Nigerian troops killed five members of the terror group.
According to the Deputy Director, Public Relations, Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, who confirmed the development, the soldiers were carrying out clearance operations when they lost their lives.
“The clearance operations progressed further into other identified insurgents’ camps around Tchikide and Chinene, where the troops ferociously engaged and cleared pockets of resistance by the insurgents, killing five of them in the encounter,” he said.
Explaining the circumstances around the officers’ death, Nwachukwu said: “As troops exploited further in pursuit of the insurgents as they fled, one of the combat vehicles was rammed by a terrorist vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), injuring two officers in the vehicle. The wounded officers were promptly evacuated for medical attention by the Battle Group medical team. Regrettably, we lost the two gallant officers yesterday afternoon.”
Described as a fearless fighter, the late Mamudu, who hailed from Kogi State, was said to have been first posted to Borno in 2015. His redeployment last year from the Nigerian Army HQ, Department of Training and Operations, would make it his second time of going to the North East to serve.
Earlier, on November 4, 2016, another gallant soldier, Lt-Col. Mohammed Abu-Ali, was killed in the battlefront alongside six of his colleagues. During operations led by the deceased, he was said to have put his life on the line by frontally taking on scores of the terrorists so that wounded soldiers could be successfully evacuated from the battlefront to receive medical attention.
In another development, Nigerian troops in Borno also killed five Boko Haram insurgents and captured a top commander of the group in Sambisa forest and the Lake Chad Basin.
The troops also rescued three civilians, recovered vehicles and high-calibre ammunition in various operations. According to Nwachukwu, the troops engaged and neutralised a number of fleeing insurgents while they were attempting to escape the military blockade in one of the enclaves, Sabil-Huda, deep in Sambisa forest.