Last week’s statement from Nigeria’s army which incorrectly reported that all the civilians targeted in an ambush by Boko Haram militants were rescued was “most regrettable”, an army spokesman has said.
Initially, the army had said that nine soldiers died in the rescue attempt following the attack on a convoy last Tuesday in the north-east of the country.
Later, there were reports that at least 40 people had died and several others had been kidnapped.
Three of those taken appeared in a Boko Haram video that was uploaded at the weekend.
In his latest statement, head of army public relations, Brig-Gen Sani Kukasheka Usman, said that “the error in the statement was not deliberate”.
“We have strived to keep the public informed of our activities with no intention of distorting any fact,” he added.
The army now said that it has recovered 21 bodies, but it is not clear if this figure includes the nine that it spoke about last week.
Nigeria’s army is currently battling Islamist militants Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria. In the past year, the group has lost a lot of territory but continues to carry out bomb attacks, ambushes and kidnappings in the region.