Counterinsurgency: Army confirms killing of officer, six soldiers by airstrike
April 26, 2021
An officer and six soldiers died on Sunday in a counterinsurgency operation in Mainok, Borno State, Nigerian Army authorities have said.
Five other soldiers who sustained various degrees of injuries have been evacuated to the military medical facility for treatment.
Although they did not specifically explain how the security operatives died, the Nigerian air force on Monday said it was investigating reports that its airstrikes accidentally killed ground troops in Mainok, Borno State.
A video of a soldier describing the attack had been circulating on social media.
“The NAF wishes to state that visuals and reports being circulated are currently being investigated and the general public will be duly updated on the alleged incident,” a statement on the Air Force’s verified Twitter page said.
The air force bomber “accidentally” hit the wrong coordinates while targeting Boko Haram insurgents who had attacked the troops on Sunday, military sources said, as reported by online newspaper TheCable.
According to the sources, the insurgents had attacked a military base in Mainok and reportedly overpowered the troops, who then called for reinforcement.
But the reinforcement truck was shelled by the airstrike.
The truck which was sent for reinforcement was targeted and shelled by the air strike following a flawed intelligence, sources said.
One of the soldiers in the affected area told TheCable:
“They (Boko Haram) came with heavy machines, about four MRAPS (mine-resistant ambush protected) vehicles and they overpowered the ground troops,” a soldier in the affected area told TheCable
“Troops sent signals for air support and when they came, it missed the main coordinates; where the air force shelled their bomb was on the location of troops instead of that of Boko Haram.
“The aircraft had to turn back. They realised that they mistargeted (and) most of the soldiers started running inside the bush.”
But in a statement on Monday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, explained that the security personnel were attacked by insurgents mounted on an unconfirmed number of gun trucks, and foot soldiers with the possible intent of establishing a phantom caliphate in Mainok town.
During a duel between the troops and the insurgents, the soldiers were said to have lured a number of the terrorists into a killing zone within their camp.
Thereafter, the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole scrambled Alpha jets and helicopter gunboats which took turns to decimate the trapped terrorists, leading to the killing of scores of Boko Haram terrorists.
The statement reads in full:
MAINOK: COAS APPLAUDS TROOPS OF OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE FOR THEIR RESILIENCE AND DOGGEDNESS
On Sunday 25 April 2021, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in Mainok, Borno State, came under multi-directional attacks by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists mounted on an unconfirmed number of Gun Trucks as well as foot soldiers with the possible intent of establishing a phantom caliphate in the town.
The terrorists were held by the gallant troops of 156 Task Force Battalion until the arrival of reinforcement teams from 7 Division, Special Army Super Camp Ngamdu and Army Super Camp 4, Benesheik.
During the firefight which lasted several hours, the gallant troops tactically lured a number of the terrorists into a killing zone within their camp where the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole scrambled Alpha jets and helicopter gunboats which took turns in decimating the already trapped terrorists.
In the aftermath of the encounter, scores of Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised with their body parts littering the area and a number of their gun trucks destroyed.
Regrettably, one gallant Officer and six soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice while 5 other soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries.
The wounded soldiers have already been evacuated to the military medical facility for treatment. Currently, troops are in full control of Mainok and environ as exploitation for fleeing terrorists is ongoing.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru has applauded troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for their resilience, commitment, and doggedness and further reassured Nigerians of the Army’s unalloyed commitment to defeating Boko Haram/SWAP terrorists while urging citizens to always avail the troops with accurate and timely information for prompt action.
Director, Army Public Relations