- Seizes large cache of arms, ammunition
From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
THE military at the weekend made impressive success in the war against Boko Haram as troops on counter-insurgency operation uncovered the terrorists’ underground food storage.
Army spokesman, Col Sani Usman, in statement yesterday confirmed the discovery, adding that the insurgents maintained underground food storage facilities where they stocked large quantity of foodstuffs in a community at Bama Local Government in a bid “to save for the rainy day.”
Usman said troops of 7 Division Strike Group Team B and 22 Task Force Brigade uncovered the food storage on Saturday while conducting simultaneous dawn raids on suspected terrorists hideouts at Biggoro, Warpaya and Aura, north of Kumshe in Bama area, central part of Borno, known for harbouring Boko Haram elements.
“The essence of the operation was to stop the reported criminal activities of remnants of Boko Haram terrorists hiding in the three villages. This became necessary as previous efforts were futile. The suspected terrorists kept coming in search for food, water and shelter,” he said in the statement.
Describing the operation as a surprised dawn attack, the army spokesman said it yielded positive result as the troops also discovered “well concealed observation posts on trees in the villages constructed by the terrorists to give them early warning of troops movement or approach.”
He said the insurgents carefully constructed chairs on the observation post which was on trees with rope which they usually used to pull foods and other needs by their sentry on the observation trees without necessarily coming down from the trees and attracting attention.
He disclosed that, at least, two Boko Haram members were killed in the operation where, he said, troops also recovered three AK-47 rifles, magazines and ammunitions. Two motorcycles were also recovered, he explained, while two children were rescued from the insurgents.
In a related development, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and some Civilian JTF, acting on a tip off, yesterday went on a clearance patrol to Borgozo-Alargano general area in which they discovered large cache of arms and ammunitions concealed.
According to a release by the theatre commander, the patrol team also cleared remnants of Boko Haram terrorists that were dislodged from Alagarno forest hibernating at Kadari, Camp Abu Fatima and Gursum.
The statement said the troops discovered large cache of arms and ammunitions that include 36 boxes of .51mm calibre, 5 x 20 Lyra beefcake mixture of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition, large quantity of 7.62mm (Special), ammunition and one 81mm mortar tube.
In addition, the troops recovered one Toyota Hilux, one generator and several motorcycles.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has appealed to all Nigerians, particularly, the people of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States to continue to provide useful information to troops, in order to facilitate complete routing of the remnants of Boko Haram insurgents hiding in their localities.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom (UK) has assured that it would support Nigeria in the ongoing war against the Boko Haram insurgents.
UK Minister for International Development, Nick Hurd, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the UK had a very long cordial relationship with Nigeria.
He said: “The very long partnership between UK and Nigeria matters a great deal to us; even my Prime Minister has made it very clear that we stand shoulder to shoulder with Nigeria in the battle against Boko Haram.
“We understand how many thousands and millions of peoples’ lives have been devastated by the atrocities in the North East.
“We are determined to help our own friend and partner to defeat that barbaric group.’’
Mr. Hurd said at the moment, the UK’s support took the form of a big commitment to training and capacity building in the military.
He said his country was pleased with the successes so far recorded by the military against Boko Haram insurgents recently.