"From all available evidences, the number of people who lost their lives during that attack has so far not exceeded about 150 in the interim. This figure includes many of the terrorists who were bearing arms and got killed in the course of their attack and fighting with troops," according to the statement issued by military spokesman Chris Olukolade as saying, while debunking rumours that 2,000 lives were lost in the onslaught.
The Nigerian military said a lot of covert operations, including surveillance activities and aerial photography, were going on in the area. The exercise so far had not corroborated the report on the casualty rate which was put at 2,000 deaths by some international bodies and foreign media, it said.
Baga and the neighbouring towns, located in the northern part of Borno state, had been under a series of attacks and harassment by terrorists, a development which resulted in mass exodus of residents, leaving the population in the town seriously depleted, the military noted.
The military said since Jan 3, the day of the attack, the terrorists had been committing terrible atrocities in Baga but necessary action would be taken to put an end to the activities of the terrorists and restore law and order in the town.
The Nigerian defence headquarters said its troops would not give up on Baga or any part of the country where terrorists were operating, assuring the citizens that appropriate plans, men and resources were presently being mobilised to address the situation.