Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The Nigerian Army has dismissed a video purportedly released by Boko Haram showing gruesome killings of scores of soldiers at a military base in Borno State last weekend.
Army headquarters, in its first reaction to the last weekend attack on a military base at Metele, Guzamala Local Government, contained in a release on its official web, said the video was part of the propaganda of the terrorists’ group to “misinform the populace and portray themselves as what they are not.”
“The spurious circulation of some of these videos only contribute to further propagate the propaganda intent of the terrorists; to misinform the populace and portray themselves as what they are not. So far, the situation is that the location is under control as reinforcing units have been able to repel the terrorists and stabilize the situation,” the army said.
It said the video trending was an “inaccurate and false” account of the incident, urging Nigerians to disregard the video.
Scores of officers and soldiers died in an attack on 157 Army Task Force Battalion at Metele, Guzamala Local Government in the northern part of Borno by Boko Haram last Sunday. The Nigerian Army did not confirm or comment on the attack for a week even as media reports claimed about 100 troops died in the attack which lasted for about three hours.
The army said it was following “laid down procedures for reporting incidents that involve its personnel who fall casualty in action.” It said families of the slain personnel are usually first contacted as a form of respect before it releases information to the public “so as to avoid exacerbating the grief family members would bear, were they to discover such from unofficial sources.”
The army thanked government agencies, other sister security organizations and Nigerians for sympathizing with the force over the incident.
Boko Haram has stepped up attacks on communities and military base in recent times, leading to the killing of over 100 troops and civilians in three months.