By Andy Chukwu
A Nigerian Army Lieutenant Colonel has been feared killed in action after Boko Haram insurgents attacked a military formation in Borno State on Wednesday.
The Lieutenant Colonel, who has been leading the 158 Task Force Battalion in Mobba Local Government Area as its commanding officer, was among the several casualties, recorded when the battalion came under attack by the rampaging terrorists as the country was celebrating its new Democracy Day on June 12, military sources said.
The casualties including human and equipment, were reportedly inflicted on the military during the fire fight with the Commanding Officer confirmed killed.
The Army Headquarters in Abuja was said to have been alerted to the development, and an emergency team of rescuer had been deployed to manage the aftermath.
Military sources said the insurgents had since receded to a remote location around Fuchimiram Village, about six kilometres west of Kareto where the incident occurred in Mobba LGA.
There were widespread expectations amongst military personnel that the Nigerian Air Force would scramble available fighter jets to conduct airstrikes around Fuchimiram Village to neutralise the insurgents hibernating there, but concerns also remained about whether the operation would be timely enough for desired result.
The attack coincided with a similar assault on Cameroonian military by the same Boko Haram wing, leaving several Cameroonian soldiers killed on their side of the 10-year-long insurgency. Boko Haram claimed credits for 88 casualties, including dozens of Cameroonian troops, reports said.
The development came barely a month after another Lieutenant Colonel and commanding officer of the 145 Task Force Battalion was killed in action.
“The attacks are not going to cease as the terrorists are desperate,” a military chief told a section of the media on Thursday night.
“There is urgent need to inform all units in the axes covering Damasak, Mallam Fatori, Magumeri, Gubio to be on high alert, since insurgents are often emboldened to launch more attacks during the rainy season,” the military officer said.