The Nigerian Army has maintained a deafening silence hours after a photograph purportedly of dead Nigerian soldiers killed in a recent face-off with the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group surfaced on Friday in the Nigerian social media.
Media reports had indicated on Wednesday that the Nigerian Army may have lost about 150 of its men to an attack by Boko Haram insurgents in Gudunbali, Borno State.
It was claimed that the terrorists attacked at Gudunbali in Borno State, on Wednesday and as a result the 157 Battalion of the Nigerian Army could not account for at least, 105 soldiers including their commanding officer.
According to an online media, the terrorists also captured a T-72 tank as well as several artillery weapons from the unit.
But the Chief of Army staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai on Thursday dismissed claims that the soldiers were missing or killed in a gun battle with Boko Haram.
Less than 24 hours after the Army boss dismissed the report, a gory photograph (see photo after story) of slain and bloated corpses of men in army uniform hit the social media with commentaries suggesting that the photograph was the image of Nigerian soldiers killed in the reported battle with Boko Haram.
The Nigerian Army has neither debunked nor confirmed the claims.
Efforts by SIGNAL to contact Col. S.K. Usman, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Army on Friday proved abortive as he failed to pick his phone calls but promised to call back via a text message.
Col. Usman was yet to contact SIGNAL at the time of filing this report.
Boko Haram carried out a series of mass killings in Baga between January 3 and January 7, 2015, after the army headquarters there was sacked by the insurgents.
Although the military later liberated the town, soldiers stationed in the area have come under constant attacks from the insurgents.
Also on Sunday, Boko Haram insurgents attacked advancing soldiers about four hours drive to Damasak, in Borno state.
The Nigerian military has claimed series of victories over the militants in recent weeks.
On Monday, the army claimed that it captured and destroyed a factory where the group makes rockets and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).