By Andah John
Four soldiers were reportedly injured while no fewer than 15 members terrorists were killed in a fresh confrontation in Rann town in Borno State, north-east Nigeria.
A Channels Television report says that the soldiers were able to repel an attack by the terrorists early on Friday.
And the latest clash comes after the Nigerian military said it had chased away the terrorist group from its fortress in Sambisa forest.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force’s Augusta helicopter is reported to have been deployed to pick one of the four soldiers seriously wounded in the clash.
It was gathered that the soldier has been taken to 133 Reference Hospital in Kaduna where he is receiving medication.
Boko Haram intact, says Shekau
Friday’s clash in Rann town comes exactly a day after Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appeared in a new video, debunking a claim that the sect has been defeated.
“We are safe. We have not been flushed out of anywhere. And tactics and strategies cannot reveal our location except if Allah wills by his decree,” Shekau said in the 25-minute video, flanked by masked armed fighters.
“You should not be telling lies to the people,” he said, referring to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari who said on Christmas Eve that the extremist group had been defeated and driven away from the forest, its last known bastion.
“If you indeed crushed us, how can you see me like this? How many times have you killed us in your bogus death?” Shekau asked.
Army dismisses video
But the Nigerian Army described the video purportedly released by the group as “mere terrorists propaganda.
“We would like to reassure the public that this video is nothing but mere terrorists propaganda aimed at creating fear in the mind of people and to remain relevant.
“Therefore, there is no cause for alarm, more so as concerted effort in clearing the vestiges of Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hiding, is ongoing.
“Our gallant troops deployed in various parts of the North-East have continued to intensify search for all persons associated with Boko Haram terrorist group with a view to bringing them to justice”, the Army said in a statement.