By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigerian Armed Forces on Friday laid to rest the remains of military personnel killed in action and in the recent crash of the Nigerian Air Force MI-171E Helicopter in Niger.
The burial ceremony was conducted for 20 of the deceased personnel at the National Military Cemetery Abuja in line with military tradition.
It also signifies a mark of honour for their gallantry and sacrifice in defence of the nation.
The bodies of the 20 deceased personnel arrived the cemetery from Kaduna at noon for the funeral as some of the fallen heroes had since been buried in other locations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that three officers and 22 soldiers were killed in an ambush in Zungeru general area of the state while seven were wounded in action.
The NAF helicopter was on a mission to evacuate the deceased and wounded troops when it crashed at Chukuba area of Shiroro Local Government Area of the state on Aug. 13.
The crashed helicopter was conveying 14 bodies of the previously killed soldiers and seven wounded ones, two pilots and two crew members.
The event was attended by the Minister of Defence, Muhammed Badaru; Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle; Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, service chiefs, families and well wishers of the fallen heroes.
The Governors of Kaduna and Niger States were represented at the funeral.
The event involved laying of wreath by the two ministers, and presentation of National Flag to next-of-kin of the deceased personnel by the CDS and service chiefs. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Benson Ezugwu/Maharazu Ahmed