A 90mm gun-armed Panhard Sagaie AFV near Marte, northern Borno.
31 March, 2014
No fewer than an estimated 2,000
insurgents were killed in a combined
operation by Special Forces and the men of the Air Force on Friday and Saturday in the volatile Sambisa Forest of Borno State, which has become a prominent hideout of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
What would have been a great victory
for the Special Forces was, however,
marred by an operational
misunderstanding between the ground troops and the officers in the Air Force Alpha Jet. Investigations revealed that 20 soldiers are still missing as a result of the operational misunderstanding.
It was learnt that mid-way into the
operation, the Air Force Alpha Jet radioed the ground forces who had advanced in three companies, that they should withdraw because it was running out of bombs. It was learnt that while the second and
the third companies withdrew, the first company of soldiers did not get the critical operational order. The situation was said to have put them
at a numerical disadvantage in the
encounter with the insurgents.
It was gathered that the soldiers fought their way through in desperation until they got to Bama Barracks. Investigation revealed that a headcount among the soldiers revealed that 20 of them were missing. The military would not declare a soldier dead unless the corpse is recovered.
It was further learnt that the soldiers
became bitter because they felt they
were not given the operational
information that could have prevented the ugly occurrence. Investigations further revealed that the angry soldiers became unruly and refused to take further orders from their superiors.
It was gathered that the soldiers, who came from 103 Battalion, Awkunanaw under 82 Div Enugu, only take instructions from their commanding officer. It was learnt that the commanders are still in the process of resolving the issue as of the time of filing this story.
However, the Director of Defence
Information, Maj. Gen Chris Olukolade,
said the officers only went to their
commanders to narrate their operational experience. He said the issues had been resolved. He confirmed that the Special Forces
bombed the main operational
headquarters of the insurgents where
many of them were killed in droves.
Olukolade said, “There were operational issues; the issues have been resolved for the operation to commence. The spokesman added that some of the soldiers that were said to be missing had returned to base. “The troops only came to narrate their operational experience to the commanders for them to be resolved and they have been resolved; and the operation is already continuing,” he said