The Nigerian Army has confirmed the attack by Boko Haram fighters on Damasak town in Borno State.
Ground troops, supported by the Air Component of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD), however, thwarted the attack by the insurgents, army spokesman Mohammed Yerima said in a statement on Sunday.
Damasak came under attack on Saturday by the insurgents who were said to be on a mission to loot foodstuff from humanitarian facilities in the town in Mobbar Local Government Area of the state.
During the incident said to have lasted for hours, the insurgents were reported to have targeted international aid facilities, setting them ablaze. But Yerima, a brigadier general, said the troops engaged the terrorists with superior firepower – both from the air and on the ground.
This, according to him, compelled the insurgents to withdraw in disarray with several men and equipment casualties in the process. “Sadly, two gallant soldiers have paid the supreme price while one officer and two soldiers were injured.
“The injured are currently recuperating at a military hospital in Maiduguri,” said the Director Army Public Relations.
He noted that elsewhere, troops of Sector 1 on picketing duty along road Ngwom-Mafa to Maiduguri killed seven Boko Haram members on Sunday.
Yerima said the insurgents were supposedly lying in wait to attack the troops and other innocent citizens plying the busy road.
He explained that the troops, who have continued to dominate their areas with massive clearance patrols and ambushes, sprang the surprise attack on the terrorists that have been threatening the peace and livelihood of the people in the area.
“In the encounter, seven terrorists were neutralised while four AK-47 rifles were recovered along with several other items.
“The terrorists laid the ambush with the intent to harm NA troops and other innocent commuters. They, however, ran out of luck as they were instead trapped and neutralised in their own web,” the army spokesman said.
He added, “After the duel and successful neutralisation of the terrorists, the troops continued their clearance patrol up to Maiduguri.”
According to Yerima, the soldiers will continue to maintain an aggressive posture to ensure the entire area is cleared of terrorists and their activities while maintaining high morale and fighting efficiency.
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