Twelve soldiers and seven policemen died in the two separate attacks by the militant Islamic sect Boko Haram in Nigeria’s northern Borno state on 4 Aug., the military Joint Task Force (JTF) said on Saturday, revising upwards the military death toll from 2 soldiers and one policeman.
Spokesman for the military Joint Task Force (JTF) battling the sect, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, had said in a statement 5 Aug. that 35 people, including two soldiers and one policemen, were killed when sect members attacked on Bama town as well as the troops of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), set up to checkmate terrorism, arms trafficking, banditry and all sort of cross border crimes along Nigeria’s border with Cameroon,Chad and Niger Republic.
However, JTF Commander, Maj.-Gen. Jah Ewansiah, said during a visit to Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima on Saturday that 12 soldiers and seven policemen were killed in both attacks.
‘We have lost 12 soldiers in Malumfatori and seven policemen in Bama attacks. But despite that the JTF is resolute and committed to ensure that peace is completely restored in Borno state, even if it means losing their lives,” the online Premium Times newspaper on Saturday quoted Maj.-Gen. Ewansiah as saying.
The JTF usually reduces or denies the casualties of troops, other security agencies as well as civilians in its ongoing operations against the sect.
Meanwhile, the Governor has donated 1 million naira (US$6,200) to the family members of each of the deceased soldiers and policemen.
Borno is one of the three states that were placed under a state of emergency in May by President Goodluck Jonathan, as part of efforts to curtail the incessant attacks by the sect in the predominantly-Muslim northern Nigeria.
The declaration of a state of emergency was followed with a massive deployment to Borno as well as Adamawa and Yobe States.
Since launching its violent attacks in 2009, following the killing of its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, the sect has killed over 3,000 people in gun and bomb attacks.