It was tears and blood in the camp of Nigerian soldiers last month when cut-throat jihadists - Boko Haram - slaughtered no fewer than 100 of them in Metele, Borno State.

Reports have now emerged that the Nigerian Army is planning a private burial for slain soldiers.

Punch quotes one of the widows of the deceased officers as saying that the burial would take place in Maiduguri on Friday (tomorrow).

It was, however, learnt that the army wanted the event to be private so that the real number of slain soldiers will not be known, said the Punch report.

Another of the widows who did not wish to be identified told a Punch correspondent: “I was invited for the burial of my husband with a few others this Friday in Maiduguri. Sincerely, we don’t even know how many will be buried and the army is not giving us any information.”

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The report quotes an army officer, a colonel who spoke to the paper on a condition of anonymity, as saying that the army decided to make the burial private in order to hide the true casualty figure.

“Gen Buratai said only 23 soldiers were killed in the attack. He also put the number of troops wounded in action at 31. However, we all know that is not true. Over 100 were killed and a private burial is now being organised in order not to expose their lies,” the soldier allegedly said.

The Punch correspondent who spoke to the windows and the army officer was said to have contacted the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Sani Usman, for comment, but he declined to comment.

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