No fewer than 30 Nigerian soldiers have been killed, following an attack by Boko Haram insurgents on their military base.
The insurgents, according to AFP, were said to have invaded the military base, located in the North-East, near the border Nigeria shares with Niger.
According to sources, who spoke to AFP, the soldiers attacked the army establishment at Zari village, near the northern axis of Borno State late on Thursday.
The troops had to temporarily withdrawn their attacks, following the heavy fighting that took place.
A military source, who preferred not to be named, was quoted as saying: “They came in large numbers in trucks, carrying heavy weapons and engaged soldiers in a battle that lasted for an hour.
“We lost at least 30 men.
“They overwhelmed the troops, who were forced to temporarily withdraw before reinforcements arrived.”
Reinforcement, however, later arrived before some sense of normalcy was restored.
While the fight lasted, the terrorists raided the army base, carting away weapons and other military equipment before they were repelled by a fighter jet.
A military officer who spoke on the incident noted that Boko Haram faithfuls also suffered heavy casualty from the bombardment.
According to one of the sources, the terrorists may have attacked from nearby Garunda village, where 17 soldiers were killed and 14 others injured in a similar attack, but on another military base, in August.
Meanwhile, a statement credited to the Nigerian Army on the incident, read: “Troops…have successfully routed Boko Haram insurgents in an encounter that ensued yesterday evening at Zari village.”
There was no mention of soldiers being killed, but the army noted that “several Boko Haram fighters and weapons” were destroyed in the incident.