Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Army yesterday said that three of its soldiers lost their lives in a shootout with the Boko Haram terror group in Borno State.
The assistant director, army public relations, theater command, Col. Onyeama Nwachukwu, who made this known in a statement, said the soldiers killed scores of the terrorists who tried to attack Rann after they arrived in eight gun trucks on Tuesday.
Nwachukwu said that the soldiers also foiled an attempt by the terrorists to infiltrate Gajiram community on Wednesday night and recovered several arms and ammunition from the terrorists.
He listed the weapons to include one AK-47 rifle, two AK-47 magazines, one rocket-propelled grenade tube, three rocket-propelled grenades, four bomb chargers, and light machine gun belt links.
Nwachukwu, in the statement, said, “Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in Forward Operational Base in Gajiram have fiercely countered a group of Boko Haram terrorists who made frantic attempts to infiltrate Gajiram community on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.
“The terrorists, wanting to take advantage of the cover of darkness to attack the town, met with the prompt response of the vigilant troops who fiercely engaged them in combat, killing several and re-covering weapons.
“The gallant troops are currently on the trail of some of the terrorist survivors who fled the scene of the encounter.”
In a related development, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Benson Akinroluyo and the acting General Officer Commanding, 7 Division, Nigerian Army and Commander, Sector 1, Operation Lafiya Dole, Brigadier General Abdulmalik Bulama Biu, has commended troops deployed at Mafa, Dikwa, Logomani, and Gamboru Ngala, for their efforts and commitment in the fight against insurgency and urged them to keep it up.
This is just as troops in these areas have been supplied with ammunition, uniforms, fragmental jackets and other logistics to boost their morale and reassure them of the Chief of Army Staff’s continued commitment to their safety and welfare.
Col. Ado Isa, deputy director, public relations, 7 Division, who made this known in a statement, said, “The Theatre Commander, Major General Benson Akinroluyo, and the acting General Officer Commanding, 7 Division, Nigerian Army, and Commander, Sector 1, Operation Lafiya Dole, Brigadier General Abdulmalik Bulama Biu, on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, conducted a long-range, confidence-building patrol, assessment and re-assurance visit along Mafa, Dikwa, Logomani, Gamboru Ngala and Rann to check the operational readiness and situation within 22 Brigade’s general area of deployment.
“General Bulama met and interacted with community members in Rann Internally Displaced Persons Camp, which was attacked by members of the Boko Haram, who came in about eight gun Trucks and several motorcycles on January 15, 2019. The terrorists burnt some parts of the village and parts of the NGO stores and looted some items. He gave the IDPs his assurance that security within their area would be strengthen and, therefore, urged them to continue to support the military operation by giving information and identifying strange persons of questionable character. He enjoined them to go about their normal activities and remain vigillant.
“Similarly, the GOC also met and discussed with members of the Multinational Joint Task Force deployed at Gamboru Ngala, appreciating them for their effort and commitment over time in the fight against insurgency, he asked them to maintain the existing synergy with the Nigerien troops deployed along the border in order to deny the insurgents freedom of operation within the area. He commended their swift and proactive response in the conduct of joint operations.
“In his address to troops of 3 Battalion, Bravo Company, deployed in the area, he commended their resilience and doggedness while fighting to hold the ground and neutralising two suicide bombers, killed three with others escaping with gunshot wounds, an act which he described as a sign of professional competence, commitment and sacrifice to humanity and to the nation. He added that they have performed remarkably well and further encourage them to maintain high standard of alertness, vigilance and remain firm and steadfast through proactive conduct of clearance and confidence-building patrols in order to dominate the general area and most importantly taking the fight to their enclaves. Regrettably, three soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice.
“Consequently, the TC and the GOC both replenished the troops with more ammunition, uniforms, fragmental jackets and other logistics support.
“Other members of the patrol teams were formation commanders as well as some principal staff officers within Headquarters Theatre Command and 7 Division Nigerian Army”.