The Nigerian Army on Wednesday confirmed the death of B.U. Umar, a lieutenant colonel, in a Boko Haram ambush.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Mr. Umar and soldiers of his 114 TF battalion were ambushed by Boko Haram after an initial bomb explosion.
While Mr. Umar died immediately in the attack that occurred at about 9:30 a.m. on November 15, another officer, a lieutenant, died later from the attack while eight others were injured.
On Wednesday, the commander of the Nigerian Army in the north-east, Lucky Irabor, confirmed the incident.
“On 15 Nov 16 at about 0930hrs own troops while on patrol to MUBI encountered an IED explosion along Bitta – Pirang road and thereafter were ambushed by BHT”, Mr. Irabor, a major general, said, according to the text of a press conference he delivered on Wednesday.
“Troops successfully cleared the ambush after a fight and unfortunately the Commanding Officer, Lt Col BU Umar lost his life on the spot. Subsequently, Lt Muktar also died in the hospital where 8 others soldiers who are wounded in action were receiving treatment. The wounded soldiers have been responding to treatment”.
Mr. Irabor also said a total of 5,235 people have been rescued from Boko Haram captivity in the past two months.
“In all the operations, a total of 5,235 people were rescued from the BHT”, Mr. Irabor said while detailing the achievements of Nigeria’s troops in the last two months.
He also read through a catalogue of military activities, most of which have been reported by the media.
The press conference, which was beamed by the government-owned Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, lasted about an hour.
The major general described the recent upsurge of suicide bombers as very unfortunate. He, however, said the impacts of the blasts have been minimal as only the bombers got killed in most cases.
“The impact of recent bombings in Maiduguri, though sad and unfortunate, was minimal due to the alertness of troops and other security agencies”, he said.
“Apart from the one wherein 2 CJTF personnel were killed and some others wounded, only the terrorists died, while one was captured alive. The captured suicide bomber is assisting in the investigation into cases of suicide bombings. The incidents are only indicative of a weakened and defeated BHT. Their ignoble adventure is destined to fail totally.”
Mr. Irabor said soldiers have intercepted several arms and ammunition from the insurgents. One of such interceptions was made on November 13, he said.
“At about 2130hrs, own troops at FOB Potiskum arrested a trailer truck with registration number Yobe (XA 960 NGU) along Potiskum – Azare road enroute Kano based on information from DSS”, he said.
“The truck was arrested with 22 sharpened new cutlasses, a knife, 7 catapults, 5 military belts, 41 iron rollers, 9 sharpened iron rods, 6 hollow irons, a first aid box, 2 tents and various black and red flags of IMN sect. The driver and 2 other persons were arrested with the truck. The suspects and items have been handed over to the Nigeria Police for further action.