The Nigerian Army said on Wednesday that a total of 23 soldiers were killed in the attack on Metele military base in Borno State 11 days ago.
In a statement signed by Brigadier General Sani Usman, the army said that 23 soldiers were killed while 31 were injured.
The figure contradicts several others published in the media which put the number of the dead to up to 100.
“During the attack, the troops were forced to withdraw and several casualties were recorded. As at date 23 personnel were killed in action and 31 personnel were wounded in action and have been evacuated to several medical hospitals within Borno State,” the statement read.
Boko Haram militants belong to the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction had overran the 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele village in Guzamala local government area leaving many casualties on their trail.
The Army had earlier in the week dismissed the casualty figures without releasing the official figures.
Reports indicate that the battalion affected by the attack is one of the Nigerian troops under the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), a combined multinational formation from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria that is charged with bringing an end to Boko Haram’s insurgency that started in 2009.
The Nigerian Army in the statement promised to provide all necessary support to the MNJTF to reverse Boko Haram’s ‘resurgence’, while at the same time commiserating with the families of the deceased soldiers.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to further commiserate with the families of the gallant officers and soldiers that paid the supreme price in the course of defending their fatherland.
“The sacrifices of these fallen heroes will not be in vain. We also wish all those wounded in action speedy recovery and assure them of our continued support and care,” Usman said.