Scores of Boko Haram fighters and soldiers attached to the Joint Multinational Task Force (MNJTF) have been reportedly killed in a ‘fierce’ clash at Mallam Fatori in Borno state on Tuesday, September 20.
READ ALSO: Boko Haram Ambushes Military Escort, Kills 6
According to Associated Press, the Islamic extremists on Tuesday said they killed more than 40 troops from a multinational force in an attack on a convoy in northeast Nigeria – an allegation that remains unverified.
AP wrote: “The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) West Africa Province annihilated “a convoy of the African Coalition Crusader forces” in the town of Malam Fatori, the SITE Intelligence Group reported, translating an ISIS communique posted on social media. There was no way to independently verify the claim and no word from Nigeria’s military late Tuesday night.”
“Eighteen people were killed Sunday and Monday when insurgents ambushed another convoy, gunned down Christians leaving a Sunday church service and beheaded a village head and his son.”
On the other hand, the Nigerian Army confirmed the clash in a statement issued by its public relations officer, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman on Wednesday morning.
According to him, the battle, which featured air operations, led to the rout of Boko Haram terrorists.
But while the troops were consolidating on the success of the operation, members of the fundamentalist sect reinforced around the border with Niger Republic; the resulting encounter led to the killing of many Nigerian soldiers, said SaharaReporters.
The statement read: “As part of Operation GAMA AIKI, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE and Multinational Joint Task Force captured Mallam Fatori in northernmost part of Borno State after a fierce battle closely covered by air operations.
“However, the terrorists reinforced around border with Niger Republic. This was while the troops were consolidating on this success.
“The troops killed several of the Boko Haram terrorists in the resulting encounter and subsequently had to withdraw to a vantage position. The Operation is continuing.”