Troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) have killed 64 Boko Haram terrorists and captured eight others after a fierce gun battle in the Lake Chad area.
The terrorists, however, killed 18 people, comprising 10 soldiers and eight civilians, according to a statement yesterday by the multinational troops.
This came as news broke yesterday that the death toll in the attacks on eight villages in Niger State, which began on Sunday, has risen to 57.
Over 1,000 others were displaced in the attacks on the eight villages in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
The MNJTF, in a statement by its spokesman, Col. Timothy Antigha, said the battle, which lasted several hours between troops of Sector 1 of the MNJTF and 300 Boko Haram fighters, occurred, on Tuesday in Darak, Northern Cameroon.
The MNJTF confirmed yesterday that 10 of its personnel were killed while eight civilians also died.
It said three Boko Haram boats were destroyed while many people were wounded.
“For the record, two days ago, about 300 heavily-armed Boko Haram terrorists invaded Darak. However, they were met with stiff MNJTF resistance resulting in a bloody gun battle, which lasted for several hours.
“At the end of the fire-fight, the following statistics were recorded: 10 MNJTF personnel killed in action; eight wounded and evacuated for medical attention; eight civilians killed and one wounded,” MNJTF said in the statement.
The statement added that “64 Boko Haram terrorists were killed while eight were captured and several wounded.
“Three Boko Haram boats were destroyed and several arms and ammunition confiscated.”
“This bold and ruthless response by the MNJTF is in keeping with the resolve of the force to make the Lake Chad Area untenable for terrorists of whatever persuasion, Antigha added.
MNJTF has, however, accused some local and foreign media organisations of slanting their stories to depict Boko Haram as winning the insurgency battle.
It said the casualty figure given by AFP in the Darak attack was unfortunate.
He stated that the emerging pattern of international and local media coverage of the crisis in the Lake Chad suggested sympathy and support for Boko Haram activities and narrative, at the expense of the efforts being made by a coalition of the armed forces of countries of the Lake Chad Basin.
“This pattern of coverage has been observed over a period, but the recent report of the clash between Sector 1 of the MNJTF and Boko Haram Terrorists in Darak in Northern Cameroon, which portrayed Boko Haram as being dominant, has called for serious concern.
“In this instance, the casualty figures quoted by the AFP and slant given by its local collaborator the News Express (online) are very unfortunate.
“The MNJTF understands that the news business thrives on timeliness. However, it is always desirable to ensure that facts and accuracy are not lost in the quest for urgency, in order not to give the impression that evil is favoured over good,” MNJTF added.
Antigha said the military task force was prepared to provide and confirm information within its area of operation.
“To facilitate the need of accuracy, the MNJTF is always ready to respond to requests for verification or confirmation of information on occurrences within its Area of Operation. The media is therefore urged to keep faith with a key tenet of the profession, which is the sanctity of facts”, he said.