By Olarewaju Kola
An army officer and six soldiers were killed by Boko Haram militants in a gunbattle in a Nigerian border town near Niger on Friday, the military said on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters in northeast Borno State’s provincial capital Maiduguri city, Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor said: "Military troops deployed to Malam Fatori, Nigerian border town with Niger, came under attack on Friday night and we lost an officer and six soldiers."
The slain officer, Lt. Col. Mohammad Abu Ali, was known for his anti-Boko Haram heroics. He was given an accelerated promotion from major to lieutenant colonel by the army chief after he successfully led an onslaught against the militant group and reclaimed another border town in 2015.
Army spokesman Col. Sani Usman said the military had also killed 14 Boko Haram militants and seized their weapons in the battle.
The killing of the troops came as the military rescued another Chibok girl on Saturday, one of the 219 abducted over two years ago. The rescue brought to 23 girls now freed by the military from the insurgents’ bondage.