The Nigerian Army has confirmed the attack by the Boko Haram insurgents on the base of its 156 Task Force Battalion in Mainok Town, Borno State, saying the terrorists wanted to establish a caliphate in the area.
The army stated on Monday that it lost one officer and six soldiers to the attack, although military sources said more than 30 soldiers were killed.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Mohammed Yerima, said in a release that scores of the Boko Haram insurgents were also killed.
He said, "On Sunday, 25 April, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in Mainok, Borno State, came under multi-directional attacks by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists mounted on unconfirmed number of gun trucks as well as foot soldiers with 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 were 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."