The number of Boko Haram terrorists who perished in their ill-fated attempt to capture a military base in Biu, Borno State has been put at 78, according to some reports.
The Coordinator of the centre and National Orientation Agency (NOA) Mr. Mike Omeri, who had said the counter attack on insurgents left 42 terrorists dead, disclosed there were 15 Chadians among them.
“The Nigerian Army successfully countered an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants near the town of Biu, Borno State. At least 42 insurgents including 15 Chadians were killed during an intense ground battle, which saw the military repel and then advance on militants.
“As the military gained and held ground against the militants, remaining insurgents retreated. Five militants were captured and have been taken to a secure facility for questioning,” Omeri said.
Omeri also said the Nigerian troops would conduct investigation into the five militants captured to detect their involvement in any of the atrocities committed.
“Nigerian officials led by the Department of State Security (DSS) will conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the five militants captured to determine if they were involved in any other atrocities conducted against the Nigerian people.
“Those found to have conducted any crimes against the state will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in accordance with international standards and best practice.”
In the early hours of Wednesday, hundreds of terrorists, including foreign nationals, were repelled in a determined effort by Nigerian troops from expanding their operational bases and capturing weapons.
Of the terrorists who were killed and captured during a pursuit by the military, include those of foreign nationalities.
Two anti-aircraft guns were captured from the terrorists during the operation.
However, competent military sources confided in PRNigeria that as at yesterday afternoon, at least 78 bodies of the terrorists have been counted.
When contacted, Defence spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade, declined to comment on Boko Haram casualty figure, saying the military was more concerned about the success of the operations than the figures of the terrorists killed during the encounters.
He, nevertheless, confirmed that mopping up exercise in the area continued.
Olukolade said: “What is important now is for us to consolidate on the victory, recapture areas where the terrorists are presently operating and restore peace to the entire Northeast.”