By Chika Otuchikere
A a�?Strike Forcea�? Commander of the Nigerian Army, Lt-Col. A.E. Mamudu, alongside a Naval officer was killed Tuesday when a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) belonging to Boko Haram terrorists rammed into their combat vehicle in Sambisa Forest.
The Deputy Director, Public Relations, Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, who confirmed the incident in a statement, said that the officers met their death during an Operation Deep Punch II by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, to clear Boko Haram insurgents from the Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad Islands.
He was however silent on the identities of the military officers. But reports gave the name of the Strike Commander as Col. Mamudu from Kogi State.
Sources said last night that the military only makes the identifies of officers who die in the line of duty public, after duly informing their families.
According to Nwachukwu, the clearance operations progressed further into other identified insurgentsa�� camps around Tchikide and Chinene, where the troops a�?ferociously engaged and cleared pockets of resistance by the insurgents, killing five of them in the encounter.
a�?However, as troops exploited further in pursuit of the insurgents as they fled, one of the combat vehicles was rammed into by a terroristsa�� Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED), injuring two officers in the vehicle. The wounded officers were promptly evacuated for medical attention by the Battle Group Medical Team. Regrettably, we lost the two gallant officers,a�? he stated.
While the spokesman of the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, said that troops had since reorganised in continuation of the operations and remain undaunted, a military source revealed that the late Strike Force commander was a fearless fighter who hailed from Kogi State.
Government had announced that Boko Haram had been defeated and completely degraded, but recent exploits by the terrorists, including the kidnap of 110 girls at Dapchi secondary school as well as incessant killings and atrocities around the North West and other parts of the country calls for change of tactics in the engagement of the terrorist groups.
By Chika Otuchikere