The Nigerian Army on Tuesday dismissed as “falsehood”, alleged killing of 30 troops by Islamic State (ISIS) in an ambush on troops engaged in the counter-insurgency campaign in the North-East.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a section of the media reported that ISIS had ambushed and killed 30 Nigerian troops on Friday in the region.
Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, made the denial in a statement issued in Maiduguri.
Nwachukwu said that contrary to the report, there were no such attacks on troops of Operation Lafiya Dole by ISIS or any other adversary within or outside the theatre of operation.
He said that the report was another set of media propaganda and an attempt by the Boko Haram terrorists to remain relevant and portray seeming potency.
He explained that the concocted report was unsubstantiated and lacked credibility.
“The graphic images used to support the article were closely studied and lacked nexus to any recent operational engagements of Operation Lafiya Dole.
“It is very pertinent to state that the photographs culled were not a reflection of recent operational encounters of Operation Lafiya Dole,” he said.
Nwachukwu said that there was neither encounter between the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole with ISIS terrorists nor had they suffered such fictitious attack as claimed.
He dismissed the said article and graphic images as “bundle of unprofessionally packaged falsehood, aimed to misinform and create fear in the people and build an aura of false potency around the terrorists’’.
The Spokesperson stressed that the troops had sustained devastating attacks on the Boko Haram insurgents in precursor operations in the theatre of operation.
“Apart from neutralising their hideouts on the fringes of the Nigerian-Nigerien border through coordinated air and artillery bombardments, troops recently killed 2 fleeing Boko Haram terrorists in an ambush at Futchinam village in Geidam Local Government Area of Yobe.
“The troops also killed 3 insurgents in another ambush in Lingir village where they recovered 5 AK-47 rifles, 5 magazines and 11 rounds of 7.62mm (special) ammunition.
“Troops have dominated the theatre of operation and have denied Boko Haram terrorists freedom of action,” Nwachukwu said.