Multinational force denies Boko Haram attack killing 40 troops in Nigeria

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-03 21:40:10|Editor: Wu Qin
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ABUJA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The multinational force fighting Boko Haram along the Lake Chad region on Saturday debunked claims that militants attacked a military base and killed up to 40 in Baga, a town in Nigeria's northeast region.

The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) described the media reports which as "false", saying it was a desperate attempt by certain individuals to promote propaganda by the terror group.

Col. Timothy Antigha, a Nigerian army officer who is also the spokesman for the MNJTF, said in a statement reaching Xinhua in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, that the very last engagement between the multinational force and Boko Haram militants was on July 29.

About 30 Boko Haram militants had infested the Baga locality with the aim of carrying out an audacious assault on troops at a military base, Antigha said. Four suicide bombers were also identified among them.

In that attack, he said, 10 Boko Haram militants were killed as the multinational force thwarted the onslaught. One soldier was also killed in a gunfight which ensued between the militants and the troops.

Several Boko Haram fighters escaped with gunshot wounds as blood-stained tracks were observed in the area as the MNJTF and national troops dealt a deadly blow to the terrorists, the official said.

Five soldiers were also injured during the gunfight, he confirmed.

The multinational force comprises troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Benin.

Last December, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and his colleagues of the Lake Chad Basin Commission renewed their commitment to ending the Boko Haram insurgency, declaring "a fight to finish".

Boko Haram has been trying since 2009 to establish an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria, extending its attacks to countries in the Lake Chad Basin.

The group posed enormous security, humanitarian and governance challenges in the basin, according to the United Nations.