Maiduguri — At least 29 soldiers have been killed in an encounter with the notorious Boko Haram terrorists northeast of Nigeria.
Some 150 terrorists died in the battle in Gorgi in the Borno State.
Soldiers deployed under the Operation Lafiya Dole (Peace by Force) died as a result of the multiple explosions that occurred when the engine of an army truck conveying artillery bombs, explosives and other ammunitions caught fire after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade bomb fired by the insurgents.
An unspecified number of other soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries and were evacuated to the local hospital.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, has visited the troops following the fatal encounter.
"The troops were apparently in very high spirits following their resounding victory over the terrorists during the encounter," said Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, spokesman of the Nigerian Army.
"The Chief of Army Staff commended the troops and informed them that the Nigerian Army, and indeed the entire nation are proud of their gallantry, patriotism and professionalism demonstrated by them in service to their fatherland."
The Nigerian Army is engaged in battle with the Boko Haram.
The terrorists are perpetrating a deadly campaign to establish an Islamic state in Africa's biggest country by population, estimated at 200 million.
More than 30 000 people have been killed in the West African nation and over 2 million others forced to flee their homes since 2009.
The attacks have carried on despite the declaration by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari that the terrorists have been defeated "technically."