The Nigerian military has reportedly abandoned soldiers trapped in Sambisa forest after the troops were dislodged by Boko Haram terrorists.
The attack was said to have happened around 8am on Friday, May 7, 2021.
Seventy-two hours after the attack and the retreat by the troops, the command headquarters of the Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, has, according to Sahara Reporters, not made any effort to rescue the soldiers.
Military sources were reported to have said the soldiers, many of whom are wounded, have been trickling into Maiduguri since the attack.
A source reportedly said the majority of the soldiers have not returned and there are no attempts by the military authorities to rescue them.
“It’s been over 72 hours since the Forward Observation Base in Bulabulin manned by 19 Battalion was attacked and dislodged by Boko Haram,” the source was quoted to have said.
“One captain and over 50 soldiers are trapped in that forest. Soldiers are dying of starvation in that bush.
“Some of them returned to Maiduguri, but the majority of them are still trying to find their way back to town but they are tired, hungry and abandoned.
“The painful part is that the heat in Borno state at the moment is so much. Anyone left in the forest might die. To make matters worse, our superiors in Maiduguri are not bothered. They have refused to send help to those out there to rescue them,” the source told Sahara Reporters.
Boko Haram and its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province, have killed thousands and displaced millions in Nigeria’s northeast.
The Nigerian military has repeatedly claimed that the insurgency had been largely defeated and frequently underplays any losses.
In the past months, soldiers have been targeted by the insurgents, who wait in ambush for them.
Scores of soldiers and officers have been reportedly killed since January 2021.
At least 25 soldiers were recently killed when a suicide bomber identified as Abdullah al-Ansari rammed an explosives-laden pick-up truck into a military convoy during a clash in Goniri, a boarder community between Yobe and Borno states, killing many soldiers.
In February, about 20 soldiers were also killed in Malari, Borno State by the insurgents.
The soldiers were on patrol to clear some Boko Haram elements in the area following a credible intelligence when they were ambushed by the group.