Two soldiers picked for deployment in Mali as part of the African Force in that country were killed yesterday in an explosion in Okene, Kogi State, an army spokesman said. Five others who were also awaiting deployment to Mali were injured in the explosion.
“We lost two soldiers while five others were wounded when the IED (improvised explosive device) planted on their route went off and hit their convoy,” Major General Bola Koleoso told AFP.
“They are soldiers scheduled to go to Mali. We are preparing them ahead of their deployment to Mali,” he said, without giving further details.
A contingent of 80 Nigerian troops departed for Mali on Thursday as part of the UN-mandated African force. Nigeria has boosted its troop allotment for Mali to 1,200 soldiers from 900 planned earlier, officials said Friday.