- There was a deadly attack by Boko Haram insurgents in Mainok town, Borno state, on Sunday, April 25
- Anonymous sources claimed an Army commander and 13 soldiers were killed during the attack
- However, Mohammed Yerima, Army spokesperson, is yet to confirm the casualties, but said he will give an update regarding the attack later
A commander of one of the Nigerian Army’s battalions fighting insurgency in the northeast is feared killed following an attack on a military base in Mainok, Borno state, by Boko Haram insurgents on Sunday, April 25.
The Cable newspaper, citing military sources, stated the commander is a lieutenant colonel but did not disclose his name.
The newspaper added that 13 soldiers were also said to have been killed in the attack. It was learnt that the soldiers first engaged the insurgents but were later overpowered.
An unnamed source said the insurgents overpowered the soldiers with “heavy weapons”, saying they "had four MRAPs [armoured military vehicles], four gun trucks and other heavy machines".
The source was quoted as saying:
“As I speak, the commanding officer has been hit, and some other soldiers.
“There was air support, but sadly, the air force missed its coordinates and couldn’t eliminate the insurgents.”
Another source claimed that the insurgents have dislodged the troops from their camp, adding that they have taken over.
The insurgents also razed down a police station and looted weapons at the military base.
The Cable stated that it contacted Mohammed Yerima, Army spokesperson, for reaction. The Army spokesman, however, is yet to give details as he only promised to provide an update on the attack later.
The newspaper in its report stated that the insurgents set houses ablaze and broke into shops in the town.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has disclosed that it will soon embark on massive recruitment in an effort to increase the manpower of the military to end insecurity in the country.
The minister of defence, Maj Gen Bashir Magashi (retd.), made the disclosure on Sunday, April 18, when he visited the Operation Lafiya Dole theatre command in Maiduguri.
He also promised that the federal government will purchase new equipment to improve the efficiency of the army.