The Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, has confirmed the death of two soldiers with six others missing in a clash between the Special Forces and the insurgents between Friday and Saturday.
Olukolade said that most of the 20 soldiers who were reported missing in the latest battle at the Sambisa forest had returned to base and were already participating in the mission.
The Defence spokesman said a very large number of the insurgents were killed in the combined operation between ground troops and fighter jets of the Nigerian Air Force.
Olukolade said that the Special Forces that went for the operation discovered a larger number of insurgents than they had anticipated which made one of the units to call for additional reinforcement to enable them to finish off the assignment.
He said that it would amount to mischief for anybody to interpret the situation in the unit as mutiny as rebellion was a grave act which would not be tolerated by the military.
He said, “The assault on Sambisa witnessed massive killing of terrorists over the weekend.
“Having discovered more than the expected number, despite the heavy casualty inflicted on the terrorists, troops in one of the units involved in the advance called for additional fire support to enable them to finish the mission in record time.
“In demonstrating their enthusiasm, they raised a number of issues which have been addressed by the commanders to enable the unit to resume the assault on the terrorists.
“Despite losing two soldiers while six are reported missing, the zeal of the troops is quite encouraging to the command.
“Most of those earlier reported missing have actually rejoined the unit and are participating in the resumed advance of their assigned objective in the campaign.
“It is indeed improper to mischievously misinterpret the situation in the unit as mutiny. The fact remains that mutiny is a very serious offence that is never condoned under any circumstance in the military. Please don’t insinuate it here. It would be unfair to the troops and their unit.”
A source had told the PUNCH on Sunday that the Special Forces had killed over 2000 insurgents in a combined operation with the fighter aircraft of the Nigerian Air Force at the Sambisa Forest between Friday and Saturday.
The source also hinted that the victory against the insurgents was almost marred by an operational blunder which resulted in 20 of the troops from the first unit in the three-units operation missing.