SOME Nigerian soldiers, yesterday, fired indiscriminately into the air to protest the killing
of no fewer than nine of their colleagues in a deadly ambush by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram at the border areas of Izhe in Madagali Local Government of Adamawa State.
Both local officials and military sources confirmed to newsmen that the insurgents attacked the soldiers at Madagali, a border town between Borno and Adamawa States.
Chairman of the local government, Mr. Maina Ularamu, who confirmed the attack, said he could not, however, ascertain the number of casualties. Ularamu said the soldiers were on a mission to repel an attack when they were ambushed.
Ularamu said, “The soldiers were going to repel a planned attack at Izhe, a border town, when they were ambushed by heavily armed insurgents. As I am talking to you, most villagers at the border areas have fled to Madagali, the administrative headquarters for fear of possible attacks by the insurgents. We are, however, calling on the government to station more troops with armoured tanks. These Boko Haram insurgents are well armed with sophisticated weapons.”
Vanguard learnt that the soldiers were left to face the heavily armed insurgents, who attacked them from different directions even with no aerial support to them.
It was also gathered that the soldiers protesting the killing of their colleagues complained of alleged tactical errors in the handling of the ill-fated journey.
Efforts to get the Brigade Commander of the 23 Armoured Brigade, Yola, Brigadier General Rogers Nicholas proved abortive as he was said to have gone out for an assignment.
However, a top military source confirmed the attack, saying that the soldiers carried out a raid on a Boko Haram hideout in the porous border towns which resulted in a prolonged gun duel with the insurgents. He added that some of the insurgents also died in the battle.
Hospital sources also confirmed that the bodies of the dead nine soldiers were deposited at the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, in Yola.
A hospital source said, “The bodies of nine dead soldiers were deposited here in Federal Medical Centre,Yola. We counted only nine bodies.”
Meanwhile, the College of Education, Hong in Adamawa State has been closed down. The closure followed series of threat letters ostensibly from the insurgents threatening to attack the school.
By Umar Yusuf