The Nigerian Army commander who was killed by Islamic State West African Province terrorists, Brig Gen Dzarma Zirkusu, was killed two weeks after the family buried his immediate elder sister, Afiniki Zurkusu, SaharaReporters has learnt.
SaharaReporters learnt that she was said to have treated lung cancer at the University Teaching hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, for six months before her demise in October.
General Zurkusu was said to have joined family members to carry out funeral rites for her only in middle of October.
A family member who does not want her name mentioned told SaharaReporters that “Zurkusu, returned to his operational base in Chibok just two weeks ago.”
"We were together here with him (Gen. Zurkusu) in Yola at Jambutu when Aunty Afiniki died.
"We know, as a military officer, he had signed for it. But he didn't sign to die this way. Why would the Nigerian Army be filled with elements who are leaking information about the movements of their commanders and troops to terrorists?
"His movement was leaked. At the appropriate time, the world will know that someone within, called the terrorists to let them know about Zurkusu's movements.
"Now that they've killed him, let them live forever, and never die", she said.
SaharaReporters had on Saturday reported that four soldiers and Zirkusu were killed by fighters of ISWAP.
SaharaReporters had exclusively obtained pictures and identities of the four junior officers killed during the attack. The victims were identified as; Ahmed S, Israel Ladoke, Mathew and Victor.
Suspected fighters of ISWAP had engaged the troops at a military base in the Askira/Uba LGA in a gun battle.
Some civilians had said they sighted the ISWAP fighters in a long convoy of gun trucks along Ngude axis towards Askira, early this morning.
The civilians had claimed they reported the movement of the terrorists to security forces but no action was taken before the deadly group stormed Askira town hours later.
While confirming the attacks, Engr Abdullahi Musa Askira, Deputy Speaker of Borno House Assembly, had said the insurgents and troops were currently exchanging gunfire.
“Yes, ISWAP is currently attacking Askira town. I was reliably informed that our troops are fighting them, but the residents are in the bush.
“My people told me that the insurgents came with about 16 gun trucks and there is confusion in the whole town now,” Askira had said.
It was gathered that troops of 28 Task Force Brigade, Chibok, had mobilised to provide reinforcement in Askira, which was under attack.
The troops were ambushed while on their way to provide support for the soldiers battling the insurgents.