Ten Nigerian soldiers were murdered and 12 others missing following an attack on a military team in Borno State Wednesday.
The attack in Damboa Local Government Area came at about 7:35 a.m. on November 6 during an overnight military patrol, sources said. It was the first major attack on troops this month.
Military sources said nine Boko Haram fighters were killed during the attack and three AK-47 rifles recovered by soldiers during a sweep of the area following the attack.
Nine officers who were wounded during the attack had been evacuated to the military hospital in Maiduguri.
Search and rescue efforts have commenced for the 12 officers still feared missing in action, sources said.
The insurgents carted away two gun trucks with arms and ammunition, three general purpose machine guns and a Toyota Hilux truck. They also set four military gun trucks and an armoured personnel carrier on fire, rendering them unusable, a source said.
The attack appeared to be the first major incident leading to heavy military casualties on the front-line this month. Following months of successful attacks on military units that left over 2,000 soldiers killed, the frequency subsided between mid-October and early this month.
The military has not formally announced the latest attacks. Army spokesperson Sagir Musa did not return requests for comments Friday morning.
The details of the attack came a day after a UN official said about 1.2 million civilians in dire need of humanitarian support could not be reached in Borno State.
Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, said the Boko Haram control of two local government areas has made it impossible to reach the 1.2 million people. “As of this year, two more LGAs have become out-of-reach for the humanitarian community,” he said on Thursday.
“While we strive to improve the quality of services to people we reach, there are now an estimated 1.2 million people who cannot be reached by the humanitarian community and represent an estimated 50 per cent increase in geographic space and a 30 per cent increase in numbers of people in comparison to last year.”
The Boko Haram insurgency has caused over 35,000 deaths since 2009. The terror group wants an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria. Its activities have, however, been restricted to three North-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe due to the efforts of security agencies.