Twenty-one days after the killing of Nigerian soldiers by an Air Force fighter jet, the army has yet to officially speak on the grave losses.
SaharaReporters had reported how a military fighter jet on a mission against Boko Haram extremists mistakenly bombed a military truck on April 25, killing over 20 army personnel.
The insurgents had attacked an army location at 156 Battalion in Mainok and overpowered the troops who called for reinforcement.
The terrorists who came in no fewer than 15 gun trucks also burnt down the military base.
A source had told SaharaReporters that a reinforcement team of the Nigerian Army sent to the community was mistakenly bombed by an Air Force fighter jet.
“The Boko Haram terrorists disguised in military uniform and gained access to the camp. They came in different groups and could not be counted. The Nigerian Army were pinned down, they requested for reinforcement, the reinforcement got on their way only to get smoked by the Nigerian Airforce.
“The (reinforcement team) was coming from Ngandu and were killed by an airstrike. The Air Force mistook them for Boko Haram as both were cladded in similar military uniform and operational vehicles,” a source had told SaharaReporters.
Authorities of the Nigeria Army have however been silent on the incident.
Meanwhile, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General, Mohammed Yerima, has accused SaharaReporters over its report about Boko Haram terrorists distributing Ramadan gifts and cash to residents of Yobe and Borno states respectively.
Yerima said the report was directed at playing down on the recent defeats suffered by the terrorists, adding that, “it is a notorious fact that the terrorists at various times have made several attempts to make the lives of the residents of these states miserable through the Ramadan season which were met with overwhelming response from the troops of Operation Hadin Kai.”
He also inferred that the terrorists chose “SaharaReporters as the medium to propagate such unfounded piece” because “the terrorists find the media outfit fertile enough for propagating their devilish stories”.
Boko Haram and its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province, have killed thousands and displaced millions in North-Eastern Nigeria.
The Nigerian military has repeatedly claimed that the insurgency had been largely defeated and frequently underplays any losses.
In the past months, soldiers have been targeted by the insurgents, who wait in ambush for them.
Hundreds of soldiers and officers have been reportedly killed since January 2021.
At least 33 soldiers were recently killed when two explosive-laden vehicles rammed into a military convoy in Wulgo.
The suicide bombers were identified as Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and Bana Jundullah. The group also claimed four military vehicles were destroyed.
In February, about 20 soldiers were also killed in Malari, Borno State by the insurgents.
SaharaReporters gathered that the soldiers were on patrol to clear some Boko Haram elements in the area following a credible intelligence when they were ambushed by the group.