New details obtained by PREMIUM TIMES have revealed that at least 113 soldiers were killed in the pre-dusk attack on 157 Task Force Battalion in Borno State on November 18.
This newspaper can also confirm based on the accounts of top military officers that 153 soldiers are still missing in action as of November 24, nearly a week after the attack.
Those killed included the commander of the battalion, whom PREMIUM TIMES identified on November 20 as a lieutenant colonel.
It has now been learnt that the second-in-command to the commander, the intelligence officer of the battalion and two other officers were amongst those killed by Boko Haram in the attack, which occurred at about 6:00 p.m. last Sunday.
When PREMIUM TIMES broke the story of the attack on November 20, military sources were only able to confirm the killing of the commander and dozens of other soldiers.
It was not immediately clear how many soldiers were manning the base during the attack, which was linked to Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA).
On November 22, a soldier who escaped the attack and witnessed how his colleagues were killed by insurgents told PREMIUM TIMES 70 bodies had been confirmed.
Some media reports, including one by London-based newswire Reuters, cited sources as giving up to 100 soldiers killed by the insurgents in the attacks.
But PREMIUM TIMES has now learnt from top officers that the casualty had risen significantly to 118 soldiers, comprising 113 soldiers and five officers.
Our sources also confirmed 153 soldiers are still missing in action, and wounded troops have been evacuated to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, for treatment.
The latest casualty number provided by military chiefs appeared to confirm Boko Haram’s claim in a video released Thursday. French newswire AFP said it saw a video in which Boko Haram claimed killing 118 soldiers in attacks last week.