Sunday, August 1, 2021

Soldiers did not run from Boko Haram, they only ‘tactically withdrew’: DHQ

The soldiers were engaged in a fierce firefight with insurgents on Saturday.

• January 17, 2021
Nigerian troops
A photo of Nigerian troops used to illustrate the story [PHOTO CREDIT: Vanguard News]

A squad of Nigerian soldiers that engaged Boko Haram fighters this weekend did not flee from the insurgents, Defence Headquarters said on Sunday, noting that they instead adopted a tactical withdrawal that later paid off.

The insurgents struck a camp of Nigerian soldiers in Marte, Borno, on Saturday in an attempt to overrun the base, Defence spokesman Bernard Onyeuko said in a statement. 

The soldiers reportedly retreated from the base and jihadists took it over for the most part of Saturday. The attack sparked immediate concerns about a reinvigorated Boko Haram, following a few weeks of relative calm on the frontlines of the campaign, now in its eleventh year.

But Mr. Onyeuko, a brigadier-general, said it was untrue that the crucial military outpost was taken over. Instead, Nigerian soldiers deliberately implemented a strategy that tricked the insurgents into a false sense of early successes.

“The troops based on reliable information about the attack, positioned themselves in an ambush site where they tactically withdrew to and awaited the arrival of the terrorists before they opened fire which led to fierce battle,” Mr. Onyeuko said.

He said the troops have taken control of the base and have launched a hot pursuit of the criminals, a claim Peoples Gazette could not independently corroborate.

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