36 soldiers have died during the conflict in Nigeria. The ambush was carried out by armed militants. There has been conflict with armed gangs in the northern areas.
Kano, Nigeria: 36 Nigerian soldiers were killed in an ambush and helicopter crash by armed militants in the northern region of Nigeria. The Nigerian army said on Thursday that militants carried out the ambush during clashes with armed gangs in the northern region.
Increasing strength of gunmen in the area
Local residents told media that the helicopter was shot down by armed gangs in Niger state’s Vushishi district following clashes earlier in the week. It echoed analysts’ warnings about the growing strength of gunmen in the country’s worst-affected northern region.
Defense spokesman Major General Edward Buba told reporters that the troops were carrying out an “offensive operation” in Niger state on Monday when armed gangs ambushed them.
Nigerian Air Force chopper crashes
Defense spokesman Buba said a Nigerian Air Force helicopter was then dispatched to evacuate the casualties, but it crashed. This resulted in the death of 14 military personnel including pilots and crew members. He said the cause of the accident is being investigated.
Dozens of militants were killed in military operations
The defense spokesman said dozens of militant gang members were either killed or detained in several other military operations. He said the Nigerian Army was determined to restore peace in the restive region of the country. The attack has thrown up new challenges for Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu, who is leading efforts by the West Africa regional bloc of ECOWAS to restore democracy in neighboring Niger after a recent military coup.