It was a week of hell for Nigerian soldiers fighting in the North Eastern and Western part of the country as they suffered major losses as suspected Boko Haram fighters and bandits killed at least 38 soldiers.
The major attacks last week occurred on Thursday when nine soldiers were killed in Zamfara and 11 others killed in Borno. On the same day, six students and two teachers were abducted in a Kaduna school.
The Boko Haram insurgency has claimed over 30,000 lives and caused the displacement of millions of others in recent years, mostly in North-eastern Nigeria. Also, kidnapping for ransom has been identified as one of the ways the Boko Haram raises funds for its activities.
Last Monday, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, said spiritual efforts were needed to combat terrorists. He said terrorist groups could not be eliminated alone by the military and urged religious bodies and organisations in the country to join the “forefront of this spiritual battle.
On Sunday, The Nigerian Army accused one major and 21 soldiers of fleeing the scene of a Boko Haram attack and subsequently declared them wanted.
The soldiers were said to have fled Gubio, a community in Borno State now partly controlled by insurgents, on September 29. About 18 soldiers were killed during the attack on a military outpost in the community.
The Nigerian Army did not confirm the attack or acknowledge own casualties, but senior officers began immediately working to establish the level of resistance or damage from troops during the attack. In the aftermath, 22 soldiers were unavailable without immediate indication that they were missing in action or seized by Boko Haram.