Metele, some kilometres before the organic city location of Maiduguri in Borno state that has military installation as one of its security base serving the purpose of combating insurgency in areas with a proximal location where the theatre of operation is being use combating the effects of Boko-haram suffered heavy defeat as seventy soldiers consumed in that process premium time had exclusively reported.
The soldier, who managed to escape the attack alongside other injured troops, said at least 70 soldiers died in the attack. He said the corpses of the slain soldiers were yet to be evacuated days after Boko Haram took advantage of their lack of munitions to deal them a devastating defeat. The attack at Metele village in Guzamala local government area of the state happened on Monday evening.
Nigerian troops PREMIUM TIMES broke the story on Tuesday detailing how rampaging Boko Haram insurgents overran a Nigerian Army battalion in Borno State on Sunday, killing the unit’s commander and dozens of soldiers.
Military sources told PREMIUM TIMES that large cache of arms, ammunition, and military equipment were carted away by Boko Haram fighters during the attack on 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, Guzamala Local Government Area, at about 6:00 p.m. PREMIUM TIMES reported on Monday that there were efforts being made to evacuate corpses of the fallen soldiers on Tuesday morning. But according to some of the soldiers, who survived the attack, the move to evacuate the corpses was thwarted by the Boko Haram fighters, who held their ground and forced the soldiers to abandon the mission. How Metele was attacked According to the soldier, who survived the attack, their location was invaded after Boko Haram allegedly issued a threat letter last Friday that it would soon take over four strategic military locations around the Lake Chad region.
PREMIUM TIMES has not been able to see or confirm any copy of the threat letter mentioned by the military sources. “The attack came at about 6 pm on Monday evening”, said the soldier. When the soldier on top of the observation post alerted that a large number of Boko Haram fighters were advancing, we all got alarmed as we took cover and waited within the base in Metele. “The fight did not last for more than 45 minutes, but it was bloody because the Boko Haram fighters had more armament advantage than the soldiers. “When we realised the fight would be against us, we decided to retreat from the camp, but it was rather too late.
The camp was surrounded with barbed wire, and the enemy fire was coming from the direction of the entrance. We were like surrounded. “One of the drivers of the gun trucks decided to push through the barbed wire so that other vehicles could follow and escape, but the truck got stuck, that was how many of our soldiers in other vehicles and those on foot were massacred. “Those that managed to escape with injuries made it on foot through Cross-Kauwa to Monguno where they boarded commercial vehicles, some even sat in the booth of the Golf cars to get to Maiduguri.
“The Boko Haram made away with about seven gun trucks of the Nigeria army. The senior non-commissioned military source said no fewer than 70 soldiers were killed while many others who were out-gunned by the Boko Haram fighters had to fled. The soldier, who claimed to have made it to Maiduguri on foot after escaping the heated battle, said an attempt to return to the battlefield to evacuate the bodies of the fallen heroes was thwarted by another attack from the insurgents.
The soldier, who pleaded strict anonymity in this report, informed PREMIUM TIMES that troops in the field were still facing serious challenges of inadequate ammunition and motivation. The soldier said the deployed team that went to evacuate the bodies of the soldiers could only pick about five corpses before they suffered yet another ambush attack from Boko Haram fighters, forcing them to abandon the mission and fled. “Up till Wednesday the evacuation of the corpses have not been completed, to the best of my knowledge,” he said.
The source said troops had been recording the death of many soldiers almost on a daily basis as Boko Haram sustained attacks on military formations. “We need the world to hear how we are being sent to slaughter as though our lives don’t matter,” he said. It could be recalled that on August 12, a group of soldiers stationed at the Maiduguri International Airport staged what seemed a mutiny following a protest over military authority’s move to redeploy them to the frontline.
Meanwhile, in demonstrating of sympathy to the fallen heroes, the senate yesterday down all items on its order paper and suspended legislative duties till Tuesday in honour of soldiers killed by Boko Haram in Borno State last weekend.
It also mandated its committee on army and defence to pay a solidarity visit to soldiers in the northeast investigate the loss of troops and ascertain if personnel have adequate provisions.
The casualty figure according to reports excludes nine farmers killed during the three-day attack on some villages and a military camp.