The Nigerian Army has denied reports that 17 soldiers were killed and others abducted by insurgents in the North-East.
Describing the reports as “fake”, the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col Aminu Iliyasu, in a statement on Tuesday cautioned against unverified claims and reports which he said were capable of undermining the counterinsurgency war.
He said, “Contrary to the rumours making the rounds, the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road as well as the Bama-Gwoza Road are some of the safest roads with over 5,000 vehicles plying them daily.
“To this end, the Nigerian Army wishes to unequivocally state that the claims contained in the disjointed reports under reference and indeed any recent claims of heavy casualties on Nigerian Army troops are nothing but fake, malicious and frivolous news reports. We, therefore, request the general public to disregard them in their entirety.”
The army told North-East residents to go about their legitimate business without any fear, stressing that “the worst days of Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province are completely over.”
The statement added, “Our gallant troops have successfully reduced them to mere common criminals who are now fighting themselves for a hiding space as our troops continue to step up their onslaught against the remnants of the criminal insurgent groups.”
The military chief said they would not be deterred by “sponsored false reports and insurgents’ propaganda being spread ostensibly by some unpatriotic elements through fabricated media publications.”