The Defence Headquarters said troops of Operation Hadin Kai have neutralised 43 terrorists, arrested 20 and rescued 63 kidnapped victims across the North East within three weeks.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, made the disclosure yesterday while briefing newsmen on the operations of the armed forces between April 28 and May 19, in Abuja.
Onyeuko also said that 1,627 Boko Haram terrorists and their families, comprising 331 Men, 441 women and 855 children, surrendered to the troops at different locations between May 1 and May 14.
He said that 53,262 had so far surrendered as of May 16.
Onyeuko said that troops killed Malam Shehu, who was the Amir and spiritual head of the group and some of his foot soldiers during a clearance operation in their enclaves at Jaje, Mango Ali, Dissa, Balangaje.
He said the troops had, on May 14, neutralised Abubakar Sarki, a terrorists’ commander and his fighters in Sambisa forest at Yuwe, in Konduga Local Government Area of the state.
He said troops apprehended Malam Modu Pantami at the outskirts of Benishied village in Kaga Local Government Area, while attempting to transport a large quantity of logistics items to terrorists.
“Consequently, during these operations, troops rescued 63 civilians, neutralised 42 terrorists, and arrested 20 terrorists.
“Troops also recovered two LMGS, 21 AK47 rifles, 11 AK 56 rifles, 22 MGs, 419 rounds of 7.62mm and 54mm ammunition, one gun turret, 31 AK 47 magazines, three motorcycles, and six bicycles.
“Other items recovered are one pumping machine, two bandolier belts containing 377 rounds of 7.62mm and 54mm ammunition and one Isuzu vehicle.
“All surrendered Boko Haram terrorists, recovered items, rescued civilians and captured terrorists have been handed over to appropriate authorities for further actions,” he said.
Onyeuko said the troops eliminated 13 bandits in a clearance tagged Operation Whirl Stroke across Benue and Taraba during the period.
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He said troops recovered 27 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one motorcycle and eight phones.
“The military high command appreciates the general populace for their continued cooperation with the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Nigeria Police and other security agencies in their fight against all forms of criminalities in the country.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria is determined to bring peace back to our dear country, while saluting the courage and sacrifices by its troops in the field,” he said.