The Nigerian Army has finally provided numbers on casualty figures arising from a recent Boko Haram attack. The army said it had lost 39 soldiers contrary to reports that over 100 soldiers were killed.
The attack in Metele, located in the northeastern Borno State was widely reported as the deadliest by insurgents in recent times.
The attack was claimed by Islamic State in West Africa Province, ISWAP. The Air Force has since bombarded terrorist locations in the Lake Chad region.
The army in an earlier statement said it had not reported on the incident because it was supposed to inform next of kin of the slain soldiers before making a public announcement.
President Muhammadu Buhari was in Maiduguri capital of Borno State on Wednesday to open a conference of top military chiefs and to visit troops. He assured that the government was doing everything in its power to equip the troops to fight insurgency.
Across the Northeast we have officers and men fighting bravely and tirelessly to keep our country safe from terrorism and violence. I salute their sacrifice on our behalf. And may the souls of the fallen rest in peace.
I would like to reassure our Military that as their Commander-In-Chief, I will do everything within my power to continue empowering them by providing all the necessary equipment and force multipliers required for them to prevail on the field, he said.
As at Thursday morning, Buhari flew to the Chadian capital, Ndjamena to attend an emergency meeting of leaders in the Lake Chad basin Commission, LCBC.
The objective of the one-day meeting is to review the security situation in areas affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, as well as adopt measures to enhance the capacity of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to secure the region.
I have invited the presidents of the LCBC member countries: Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and the Central African Republic, to attend the meeting. Also invited is the President of the Republic of Benin, which also contributes troops to the MNJTF.