Maiduguri - Boko Haram militants have killed Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Abu Ali, who recaptured the Baga town of Borno state from the Islamist sect in 2015.
Ali, commanding officer of 272 Tank Battalion, is reputed as the army’s bravest commander and fighter in Nigeria’s ongoing anti-terrorism war.
Ali's death was revealed on Saturday by Sani Usman, army spokesman, who said Ali was killed in an encounter with the insurgents late on Friday, November 4.
The statement by Usman on Saturday read: “Yesterday at about 10.00pm suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked a 119 Battalion Nigerian Army location at Mallam Fatori, northern Borno State.
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The troops fought gallantly and repelled the attack, killing 14 Boko Haram terrorists.
“Unfortunately, we lost an officer and 4 soldiers, while 4 other soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries during the encounter. One of those killed in action, was Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Abu Ali, the Commanding Officer of 272 Task Force Tank Battalion.
“It will be recalled that because of the late senior officer’s exceptional bravery and gallantry, he was given an accelerated promotion from the rank of Major to Lieutenant Colonel and was decorated by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General TY Buratai at Gamboru Ngala on 9th September 2015 during an operational visit.
“So far, the troops have recovered 1 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), 7 AK-47 rifles and a large quantity of ammunition. Mopping up and exploitation are ongoing.”
- News 24