President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the Commander of the Special Forces, Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu and three soldiers killed in a battle with terrorists in Askira Uba, Borno State on Saturday.
In a statement on Saturday night by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari, who commended the bravery of the fallen soldiers, describing them as martyrs, noted that Nigeria had lost brave soldiers.
“Nigeria has lost brave soldiers. I salute their courage. May their souls Rest In Peace. General Zirkusu leaves us sad and devastated. The soldier in him will remain immortal,” the President said.
The President urged the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Faruk Yahaya to accept his heartfelt condolences and that of the nation as well as convey same to families of those martyred.
“I pray to the Almighty to give you and the bereaved families the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss,” the President added.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has narrated the events that led to the killing of General Zirkusu and three of his men during a fierce battle with ISWAP terrorists on Saturday.
According to a release by the army spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, which reads thus:
Troops of Joint Task Force, North East Operation HADIN KAI have neutralized several Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists during a recent encounter in Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State. In the fierce encounter which is still raging as at the time of filing this report, troops supported by the Air Component of OPHK have destroyed five A – Jet, two A-29, two Dragon combat vehicles and nine Gun Trucks.
Sadly, a gallant senior officer Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu and three soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice in a very rare display of gallantry as they reinforced a counteroffensive against the terrorists, and successfully defended the location. The family of the senior officer and soldiers have been contacted.
The Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya deeply commiserates with the families and relations of the fallen heroes. He has also directed that the troops continue in the ferocious counteroffensive and hot pursuit to eliminate the remnant of the fleeing terrorists.