Seven Nigerian soldiers were on Monday gruesomely murdered by bandits during a rescue operation in a forest along Mararaba-Udege road in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, PREMIUM TIMES can authoritatively report.
The soldiers, who were killed in an ambush by the bandits, were from the 177 Guards Battalion, Shitu Alao Barracks, Keffi, Nasarawa State.
According to a reliable source, who does not want to be named for security reasons, the slain soldiers were part of a team of 13 soldiers led into the forest by Felix Kura, a captain.
The soldiers’ mission, the source claimed, was to rescue some residents of the state who were abducted by bandits and taken into the forest.
Out of the 14 military men, PREMIUM TIMES learnt that seven including Mr Kura; Yakubu Bati, a sergeant; Kefas Iliya, a lance corporal, and four others whose identity could not be confirmed as of the time of filing this report, lost their lives.
“As soon as they ran into the ambush and they realised they were being overpowered, Mr Kura was said to have told his colleagues including his “cover” to escape,” the source added.
The authorities of the 177 Guards battalion have informed the families of the slain soldiers of their fate “and signal has been sent to the headquarters,” PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
But the spokesperson to the Nigerian Army, Sagir Musa, a brigadier general, denied knowledge of the development.
“I am not aware. I don’t have that information,” Mr Musa told our reporter on the phone on Thursday.