At least seven soldiers have been killed by Boko Haram insurgents in Doska, Borno state, military sources have told TheCable.
The troops were said to be on a patrol to the area when they got tricked by the insurgents who appeared in military uniforms and gun trucks.
Doska, a village in between Ajigin and Talala in Damboa local government area of the state, became deserted since 2015 when the insurgents took control of the area which today remains one of their strongholds.
“The troops were on a fighting patrol, and when they got to Doska, they saw these people in military uniforms and military machines, and they even waved so our troops thought they were soldiers from another formation,” a source said.
“The troops stopped, exchanged greetings with these people. And as they proceeded, they ran into an ambush. Immediately, the insurgents closed in on them, opening fire.
“We lost seven soldiers, and 14 were critically injured.”
Another source said the insurgents in the area are known to always ambush soldiers with the aim of stealing gun trucks and other weapons from the army.
Since 2015, the source said, the army has been trying to dislodge the insurgents in the area but to no avail.
“It has been their stronghold for years, and we have not been able to flush them out,” the source said.
“In fact, they have planted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) all round the area and only the insurgents know and use the safe path in and out of the area. So, many times our troops run into these mines.”
Sagir Musa, spokesperson of the Nigerian army, was not immediately available for comment over the development.
For a decade now, the military has continued to combat the insurgents who have killed thousands and displaced millions in the north-east.