62 Nigerian Soldiers Killed In Boko Haram Attack, ICIR Claims

Despite denials by the Nigerian military of suffering no casualty in an attack on a brigade in Jilli in Geidam, Yobe state, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) is reporting that 62 soldiers were killed in the Saturday’s attack.


Besides the 62 dead, dozens of soldiers are still missing.

The attack came on the heels of another where Boko Haram insurgents ambushed a military convoy in Boboshe village in Bama local government area of Borno State. Twenty-three soldiers, including five officers and 18 soldiers have been missing since.

The ICIR, quoting a source, said the military deployed the 81 Brigade less than a month ago at Jilli because the village is a major crossing point for Boko Haram from Kukareta to Geidam.

“The Brigade is made up of about 1,000 soldiers, which is about half the normal strength of a brigade. On the day of the attack, there was a distribution of uniforms to the troops going on when Boko Haram fighters attacked around 5.00pm.

“When Boko Haram opened fire on the troops, they tried to fight back but were overpowered. Boko Haram fighters arrived with many anti-aircraft guns while the soldiers were limited to AK-47 riffles. The only support weapons readily available were machine guns but these are very old and not too reliable. It intermittently stops when being fired and this is not good in a battlefield,” the source said.


According to the source, the army authority was still servicing the armoured tanks that were to be deployed for the brigade before the unfortunate attack.

The source explained that they were many casualties because the soldiers decided to run away after being overpowered, which gave the attackers the advantage.

They listed those killed to include three officers, while the commanding officer escaped with a gunshot wound in the leg.

The Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Dangana, however, escaped unhurt and has since gone back to his post.

The ICIR also learnt that Boko Haram fighters took away three gun trucks and burnt four others because they could not move them.


The ICIR learnt that a day after the attack, 25 corpses were retrieved and on Monday, 37 more were evacuated to 7 Division in Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri. Some of the corpses were deposited in the morgue inside the barracks and others were taken to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital due to lack of space.

“Contrary to the report, the Army wishes to state that, although the base was attacked by suspected Boko Haram insurgents, troops reorganised and successfully repelled the attack and normalcy has since returned to the area. Also, all the troops in the base were accounted for contrary to the report,” army spokesperson, Texas Chukwu, a Brigadier General, had said.

This is not the first time the army has denied losing soldiers in Boko Haram attacks, especially when such attacks involved heavy casualty. On July 1, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, a Lieutenant General, inaugurated a cenotaph in Gudumbali, headquarters of Guzamala local government in Borno state, in memory of 144 soldiers killed during a deadly attack on November 18, 2015.


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