The figure has continued to increase as family and friends mourn the demise of our national heroes.

Many armed Boko Haram members in a truck, stormed the military base in Zari village, Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno State and seized it after a fierce battle.

30 Nigerian soldiers were reportedly killed at the weekend but that number has since swelled.

"The casualty toll now stands at 48 with the recovery of 17 more bodies of soldiers in surrounding bushes in Zari by search and rescue teams," a military source who did not want to be named told AFP.

"Search operations are still ongoing and more bodies are likely to be recovered."

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Another military source confirmed the new death toll.

"So far (the) bodies of 48 troops have been recovered. Yesterday rescue teams found 17 bodies of fallen soldiers," he said, adding that they included two officers and 46 soldiers.

"When the troops were overwhelmed by the terrorists they withdrew in different directions."

But the Nigerian Army through Brig.-Gen. Texas Chukwu, Director, Army Public Relations, has since denied the report, claiming it did not happen.

"It is very unfortunate how people will just sit in the comfort of their zones and fabricate stories that don’t exist, most especially the international media.

“Such false narratives, we have always believe are deliberate attempts to promote Boko Haram and their activities against the sovereignty of the country.

“That media organisation was said to have gotten their information from a security personnel and went ahead to file their report without making further inquiries.

“This is unethical and unprofessional to say the least,” Chukwu added.

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