Nigerian Army authorities have said 22 terrorists were killed when troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force engaged Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists around Mallam Fatori Town in the Lake Chad region.
They, however, added that six soldiers were also killed during the engagement.
A statement by the spokesman for the Multinational Joint Task Force, Colonel Muhammad Dole, on Thursday said the operation was code-named Sharan Fage.
It noted that the operation had troops drawn from Sector 3 Monguno (Nigeria) and Sector 4 Diffa (Niger Republic) and was heavily supported by Operation Hadin Kai (Nigeria) and the targets were Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists hiding around Mallam Fatori town.
The statement said though the troops had superior firepower, they met strong resistance from the terrorists.
According to the statement, the terrorists launched several mortar attacks, laid Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) along the troops’ route of advance, and further attacks with Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs).
Colonel Dole said despite the challenge posed by the terrorists, 22 of them were neutralised during the operation.
He added that 5 of their gun trucks, five motorcycles, and several logistic bunkers were destroyed and eight AK-47 rifles were also recovered from the terrorists.
He, however, added that six members of the Joint Task Force comprising two officers and 4 other ranks from both Nigeria and the Niger Republic were killed in the line of duty with about 16 others wounded in action.
The statement noted that 17 suspects arrested in the general area of operations were being profiled.