The Nigerian Army on Tuesday said four passengers were killed and six others wounded when Boko Haram insurgents attacked travellers on Banki-Maiduguri road.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, who disclosed this in a statement issued in Maiduguri, however, said troops had killed countless number of the insurgents in a gun duel.
Mr. Usman said that two members of the Civilian Joint Task Force and six soldiers on escort duty sustained injuries during the attack.
He said that one of the vehicles conveying the passengers hit an Improvised Explosive Device planted on the road, adding that the blast killed some of the passengers and injured others.
He said the troops engaged the insurgents in heavy fire fight as result of which one of them detonated the IED strapped to his body and killed himself, while several other insurgents escaped with gunshot wounds.
The army spokesman noted that the attack was coordinated by the insurgents to deter troops’ movement on the road.
According to him, the troops recovered dead bodies of the insurgents and ammunition from the scene of the attack.
“Troops of 152 Battalion, 21 Brigade Nigerian Army on Operation LAFIYA DOLE on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017; encountered suspected Boko Haram terrorists ambush along Banki- Bula Yobe Road in Bama Local Government Area of Borno while on escort duty of some civilians from Banki to Maiduguri.
“Although the troops successfully cleared the ambush after a heavy fire fight, regrettably 4 persons lost their lives when their vehicle stepped on a buried Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on the road.
“Similarly, twelve persons comprising 6 soldiers, 2 Civilian JTF and 6 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) sustained various degrees of injury.
“The terrorists who laid an IED on the road to deter troop’s movement had among them a suicide bomber who could not bear the troops heavy volume of fire which made the terrorist to detonate the explosive killing only himself.
“The Troops displayed high level of gallantry by swiftly engaging the terrorists which neutralised the large number of the terrorists while some of them escaped with gunshot wounds.
“During the exploitation process, they also discovered bodies of some of the Boko Haram terrorists and recovered 2 Fabrique Nationale Rifle magazines, 50 Belted 7.62mm special and a Detonating Cord 33 used by the terrorists in detonating Improvised Explosive Device”.
Mr. Usman, a brigadier general, said the wounded soldiers were evacuated by a Nigerian Air Force helicopter to the 7 Division Hospital and Medical Services for treatment.