At least two dozen Nigerian security operatives have died in total after a helicopter conveying dead and wounded soldiers from an evacuation mission in Niger state, 249km (155 miles) north of Abuja, crashed on Monday.

The evacuation mission had been to retrieve soldiers wounded or killed in an ambush by armed bandits in Chukuba village in the Shiroro local government area of Niger state.

The figures were given by a spokesperson for the Nigerian military, Major General Edward Buba, during a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday. He said there were 14 soldiers and seven wounded ones aboard the aircraft when it crashed, alongside two pilots and two crew members.