At least 23 Nigerian soldiers are yet to be accounted for after Boko Haram ambushed a military convoy at Bama in Borno State.
The news agency of Nigeria, NAN says Five officers, 18 soldiers and 8 trucks are reportedly missing after the attack which occurred early on Saturday.
NAN reports that the military mobilised troops upon learning of a gathering of insurgents, but the terrorists in their hundreds ambushed the soldiers.
Only three of 11 army trucks returned to base, and more than 20 soldiers are currently unaccounted for.
NAN is also reporting of an exodus of villagers in Gubio local government, following a night-time attack.
In a fresh update, the army has come out to dispel the information as a rumour. In a press statement released by the Director of Army Public Relations, he stated that the Nigerian Army wishes to state categorically that the report is not only untrue but misleading as the said report is blown out of proportion by the media.
“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to news making the round alleging attack on soldiers and capturing of military vehicles by Boko Haram in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.
“Contrary to the report, the Nigerian Army wishes to put the record straight on the issue and assure members of the public particularly residents of the North East to disregard the report as their safety is guaranteed.
“The Nigeria Army wishes to state that there was an attempted attack on troops at Kwakwa and Chingori communities in Bama area of Borno State by suspected Boko Haram Terrorists as a result of difficult terrain where our vehicles bugged down. The terrorists also attempted to cart away troops operational vehicles, but were successfully repelled by our gallant troops with the support of the Nigerian Air Force.
“About 22 members of Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised while several others escaped with gunshot wounds. Efforts are being intensified by the troops to get the fleeing members of the Boko Haram terrorists.
Unfortunately, one officer and a soldier sustained injuries and are currently receiving medical attention at the military medical facility”.