An ambush of Nigerian troops by Boko Haram elements has left six soldiers dead, 26 wounded and many others still missing, according to a report.
The ambush, according to military officials briefed on the matter, occurred around 2:30 pm Saturday between Jagiran and Monguno, one of the hotspots for the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency in Borno state.
The terrorists also took away a bulletproof Toyota Land Cruiser truck in desert camouflage, which belonged to the acting commander of the 3rd Armored Division.
Army authorities fear that the vehicle could be repainted in disguise to enter military bases.
To that end, the army has also put Nigerian troops at the various locations on red alert, urging them to prevent further escalation of trouble from terrorists if they detect any. Police have also been notified to keep an eye on the truck across the country, a military source said.
Police were urged to use tact in case they see an SUV approaching their location, whether with a mounted gun or not.
An army spokesman, Sagir Musa, did not return calls and a text message that was sent to him on Sunday night.
Meanwhile, last week, the Nigerian military marked a search for Boko Haram’s fourth wanted group of terrorists, during which they co-opted more members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) into the operation.
Boko Haram’s war has had a major impact on human and economic assets in Nigeria with millions of Nigerians displaced, thousands killed and billions sunk in war in the last decade.
Civic group BudgIT estimated that Nigeria has budgeted more than $ 8.1 trillion in security since 2015.
This year alone, 1.78 trillion naira went to security, of which 900 billion naira went to the defense ministry and 75 billion naira to military operations.
Although the Nigerian government has maintained that it has technically defeated Boko Haram, the barrage of attacks by terrorists persists despite some successes recorded by Nigerian troops.