A total of 3,600 foreign soldiers from Nigeria’s francophone neigbours have been deployed to work alongside the Nigerian component of the Multi National Joint Task Force to fight the members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect.
Investigation conducted by our correspondent revealed that Chad with 2, 500 soldiers contributed the largest number of troops to the new offensive against the sect.
The other countries, Niger and Cameroon are contributing 700 and 400 troops respectively to the joint campaigns against the insurgents.
It was also learnt that the MNJTF had started massive air strikes and ground offensives against the insurgents. Though it was reported that nine Chadian soldiers were killed in the battle to root out the Boko Haram fighters from Gamboru Ngala on Tuesday, the sect also lost about 200 soldiers.
Reports on Chadian state television confirmed that the soldiers killed 200 Boko Haram fighters and lost nine troops in the encounters in the two border communities north of Maiduguri.
The Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, declined to comment on the casualties suffered by the Chadian forces in the reported offensive against the insurgents at Gamboru Ngala.
Olukolade also declined comments on the number of troops contributed by other countries in the joint operation.
However, Olukolade confirmed that a total of 2,500 Chadian soldiers were deployed for the joint operation.
He said that the 2,500 soldiers comprised those that would watch over the Chadian end of the border and those that would be involved in the missions.
He said, “I cannot speak on the casualties being claimed. However, as to the figure, 2,500 represents the total number the Chadian Forces are expected to deploy.
“These include those who will keep watch at their own country’s side of the border as well as those who will be involved in the joint patrols and operations and campaigns,” he said in a text message to our correspondent.