The Defence Headquarters said yesterday that scores of insurgents died when troops broke through an ambush in Delwa, Borno State.
It also confirmed that three soldiers were killed and seven others injured in clashes with Boko Haram insurgents.
The report of the fierce battle came on a day the Army raised a seven-man General Court Martial (GCM) to try 18 soldiers.
The GCM, constituted by Commander, Army Headquarter Garrison, Maj.-Gen. B.T Ndiomu, is headed by Brig-Gen. C.C Okonkwo. The DHQ broke the news in a statement on its twitter handle.
The statement said: “Troops on patrol around Delwa and neighbouring communities on Wednesday successfully broke through insurgents’ ambush 35kilometres to Maiduguri as they advanced to dislodge insurgents who were massing up in the area.
“The fierce fire fight that ensued as the troops waded through the ambush left scores of insurgents dead, while three soldiers died in action.
“Seven soldiers, who incurred various degrees of injuries have been evacuated for treatment while the troops have continued with their mission.”
A top military source said troops were trailing some of the fleeing insurgents, who were injured in the encounters.
“The insurgents have resorted to ambush tactics but we are up to their antics. That was how they killed a Lieutenant Colonel despite the fact that he was from that axis,” the source said.
The ongoing combing of Balmo Forest by troops has, however, led to the recovery of a huge cache of arms and ammunition.
A top military source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The type of arms and ammunition dug out in Balmo Forest confirmed intelligence gathering that it could be a transit camp for Boko Haram members to Sambisa Forest.
“The place looks like Boko Haram armoury because sophisticated arms were recovered. Troops are still mopping up the forest.”
The Army has raised a seven-man General Court Martial (GCM) to try 18 soldiers for alleged mutiny in Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri in May.
The soldiers revolted against a former GOC of the 7 Division, Maj.-Gen. Ahmadu Mohammed, in protest against the massacre of their colleagues by Boko Haram insurgents.
The identities of the 18 soldiers were kept under wraps last night.
A source said: “You know about 500 to 700 faced a Board of Inquiry out of which the 18 soldiers were isolated for court martial trial.
“The court will begin sitting any moment from now. It is a normal military tradition when there is mutiny.
“Every service or organisation has a way of enforcing discipline to restore peace and order.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “It is not immediately clear if the court martial will be thrown open or not.”