The Nigerian Army has confirmed the killing of six soldiers in Takum, Taraba State, during a clash with armed bandits.
It also launched a search and rescue operation for missing personnel after the armed confrontation.
The confirmation came as the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, expressed the determination of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to contain security challenges afflicting the nation.
A statement issued by the Nigerian Army Headquarters said six soldiers were killed while one was declared missing during the fire-fight.
Following the development, the army launched a search and rescue operation for the missing personnel.
It said troops of 93 Battalion in Takum responded to a distress call of an attack on Tati community in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State when they were ambushed by bandits.
“Troops of 93 Battalion have launched out, on a search and rescue mission for a personnel who is missing in action while responding to a distress call of an attack on Tati community, in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State in the early hours of Tuesday 20 May 2022.
“The troops had launched out swiftly on receiving a distress call that Tati community was under attack and razed by suspected bandits. While in pursuit of the bandits, troops fell into an ambush staged by the criminals,” it said.
“The troops fought fiercely through the ambush neutralising four of the bandits. Sadly, during the fire-fight, six gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while one personnel is missing in action.
“However, a reinforcement team from 6 Brigade deployed against the fleeing bandits at Ananum Village in Donga Local Government Area of the state, neutralised two additional bandits and recovered one AK-47 rifle, one pistol, one locally fabricated gun, 2 AK-47 magazines, 19 rounds of 7.62 mm special, 7 rounds of 9 mm ammunition and 3 motorbikes,” it said.
The statement signed by Army Spokesman, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said troops were in pursuit of the bandits and would leave no stone unturned in the ongoing search and rescue operations for the missing personnel.
“The good people of Taraba State are enjoined to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement to security agencies,” it said.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, expressed the determination of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to contain security challenges afflicting the nation.
The defence chief spoke during the closing ceremony of the Defence Headquarters Retreat 2022 held in Asaba, Delta State capital.
He maintained that the armed forces had the requisite capabilities to bring to a speedy end the myriad of security challenges in the country.
Gen. Irabor urged Nigerians to believe in the ability of its military, working in concert with other security agencies, to address the broad range of security issues.
He expressed delight at the quality of representation from the leadership hierarchy of the AFN and the three services, describing the retreat as a “fruitful engagement”.
According to him, the participants were leaving the retreat with their shoulders high that there would be renewed vigour in terms of military engagement of security threats.
Irabor while commending the participants for their contributions assured that the retreat would become a bi-annual event.
This, he said, was to enable the Defence Headquarters to take stock of the implementation of the resolutions as well as reappraise the engagements and activities of the armed forces.