The Nigerian Army Saturday said troops of Joint Task Force, North East Operation Hadin Kai killed several Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists during an encounter in Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno state.
A statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen Onyema Nwachukwu however, said Brig.- Gen Dzarma Zirkusu, the commander of 28 Task Force Brigade, Chibok and three soldiers were killed in an ambush by the terrorists.
“In the fierce encounter which is still raging as at the time of filling this report, troops supported by the Air Component of OPHK have deployed five A – Jet, two A-29, two Dragon combat with which they destroyed nine Gun Trucks and One APC.
“Sadly, a gallant senior officer Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu and three soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice in a very rare diplay of gallantry as they provided reinforcement in a counter offensive against the terrorists, and successfully defended the location.
“The Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya deeply commiserates with the families and relations of the fallen heroes. He has also directed that the troops continue in the ferrocious counter offensive and hot pursuit to eliminate the remnant of the fleeing terrorists,” the statement stated.
Meanwhile, troops have eliminated a top-ranking Commander of the ISWAP and other terrorists in an offensive at Askira Uba, after the killing of a senior army officer.
PRNigeria gathered the Nigerian troops, who had tactically retreated, regrouped, reinforced and ambushed the ISWAP Commander and eliminated his fighters at Askira Uba axis.
A military source confirmed that over 30 bodies of the insurgents killed on Saturday have been recovered, though troops are still combing surrounding bushes in Askira Uba.
The source told PRNigeria that about nine gun trucks, an armoured personnel carrier (APC) and one Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) were destroyed or recovered by the Nigerian troops.
“This morning while we are still mopping the area, we have so far counted 37 corpses of the terrorists, while one of their leaders, a Commander who was arrested for further investigation died in custody this morning. We also recovered dozens of sophisticated guns during the clearance operation,” he said.