(Picture : File copy of Buratai in group photo with troops)
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS ), Lieutenant General Tukur Y Buratai on Saturday visited troops at Mafa, Dikwa and Logomani. This was disclosed in a statement by Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman,acting director, Army Public Relations .He said at the 112 Task Force Battalion location Mafa, Buratai commended the troops and enjoined them to continue to be hardworking and dedicated.
But Colonel Usman also disclosed that the “leading column was ambushed by suspected Boko Haram terrorists at Faljari village between Mafa and Dikwa.”
“The terrorists however encountered an overwhelming fire power from the troops in which 10 of them were killed. The troops captured five terrorists.
“During the encounter, sadly, we lost a soldier, while an officer and four soldiers sustained gun shot wounds”,Usman said.
“The arrested terrorists have been sent for interrogation while the remains of the gallant soldier and the wounded soldiers were evacuated back to Maiduguri.
“The wounded soldiers are stable and responding to treatment at 7 Division Hospital and Medical Services.
The statement said further that at Dikwa, the COAS interacted with a mammoth crowd of internally displaced persons where he assured them of their safety. Thereafter, he addressed some elements of 112 Battalion in which he told them that the Boko Haram terrorists should not have any freedom of action or movement within their area of responsibility.
At Logomani, where troops of 7 Division Strike Group where refitting, he informed them that Nigerians are very proud of them. It could recalled that the unit recaptured Dikwa and now heading to the next objective. He also said that he was adequately briefed by the GOC 7 Div about their problem. He also delivered President Buhari’s goodwill message.
“One interesting aspect of the visit was that Nigerian Air Force led by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal SB Abubakar gave air cover and conducted armed air reccoinaissance on the general area. While the IDPS were excited with presence of the COAS , troops at various locations were equally in high spirit and good to go. The troops indicated their readiness to carry out assigned tasks”, the statement said.