Nigeria`s military says nearly four dozen soldiers have been killed only hours after returning home from peacekeeping duties in Sudan`s Darfur region, according to CNN.

The military says the unit from the Army`s 245th Battalion flew Wednesday from Darfur to the international airport in the capital, Abuja, and were heading back to home base by road when they got into the accident overnight.

Forty-six soldiers, including one officer, died in flames after a petroleum tanker collided with two troop-transport vehicles on the road in northern Nigeria.

President Umaru Yar`Adua`s office says he regrets the loss, and is planning to cut short his trip to an African Union meeting in Tanzania.

A military burial is planned for Friday in Abuja, Nigeria.