•13 terrorists, 7 others killed
•Soldiers recover arms, vehicles, foodstuffs
From Fred Itua and Molly Kilete, Abuja
Troops from 8 Task Force Division, Nigerian Army, at the weekend on counter insurgency operations in the Lake Chad area killed 13 members of the Boko-Haram Islamist group and recovered arms and ammunition from them.
This was coming at a time security agencies in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), yesterday urged citizens to be watchful over threats by Boko Haram to bomb Abuja dominated an emergency meeting called by Minister of FCT, Muhammad Bello
In the military-Boko Haram clash, soldiers on a clearance mission of the terrorists’ hideouts and what was left of their logistics holding, recorded a sound victory, killing 13 terrorists and recovering vehicles and foodstuffs from the fleeing terrorists.
A statement by Colonel Timothy Antigha, Deputy Director in charge of Public Relations 8, Task Force Division, admitted that the troops came under heavy fire from the terrorists at Chikun Gudu, Tumbuma Karami and Tumbuma Baba.
Other items recovered by the soldiers included three AK-47 riffles, one pump action riffle, assorted riffle magazines, 306 rounds of ammunition, toolbox, deep freezer and a Toyota gun truck.
Antigha also said troops of 242 Battalion, acting on a tip-off, arrested 10 suspected Boko Haram smugglers comprising six females and four males at Monguno and Nolwodo Malgori with assorted household items, foodstuffs and cash.
He said “the suspects are being profiled to determine the extent of their involvement in Boko Haram insurgency.”
Meanwhile, seven people were killed at Mussa, Askira/Uba Local Government Area of Borno State, when the Boko Haram terrorists stormed the remote village.
The incident, which happened on Saturday night, was said to have left over 40 villagers injured.
An online publication said a local hunter in Uba town yesterday morning confirmed the incident on phone.
The hunter was reported as saying: “They came at about 10 pm on Saturday and started opening fire on civilians. Three people were instantly killed and many are still missing.
“As I am speaking with you about 46 people sustained gunshot injuries, they are receiving treatment in Uba General Hospital.”
The Director, Nigerian Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Sani Usman, could not be reached at press time yesterday, as all his telephone lines could not be accessed.
In another development, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), yesterday said its fighter jets destroyed an emerging logistics base of Boko-Haram group in Sambisa forest.
The destruction followed an intelligence report that the terrorists were making arrangement to build a logistics base on the location.
Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF, Air Commodore Olatokumbo Adesanya, made this known in a statement in Abuja.
He said: “NAF Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE conducted an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission in the Sambisa general area, as part of ongoing efforts to clear the area of remnants of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
“During the mission, a black vehicle and some Boko Haram terrorists were seen on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest. A confirmatory ISR mission on 17 May 2017 revealed that the Boko Haram terrorists are attempting to build a logistics base in the location.
“Accordingly, Nigerian Air Force fighter aircraft were immediately called in to carry out strikes on the location.”
Meanwhile, the security agents in the FCT expressed their readiness to combat all forms of threat to life and property by intensifying intelligence efforts, surveillance and raiding black spots within and around Abuja.
The security meeting was attended by FCT police commissioner, FCT Director of DSS, the Nigerian Army (Guards Brigade & Garrison Command), Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Navy, Customs, Immigration, NSCDC, Prisons, FRSC, NDLEA, all the FCT area council chairmen, Chairman, FCT Council of Chiefs, representatives FCT CAN and Abuja National Mosque, Acting Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council as well as all acting secretaries of FCT mandate secretariats.
The security chiefs noted with concern the recent threat by the Boko Haram sect to attack the FCT, but warned that the threat was not being taken lightly as everything would be done to prevent attack on any part of the Territory.
The meeting resolved that the security agencies in collaboration with the FCT Administration would continue with efforts being made to ensure compliance with the various regulations on street hawkers, commercial motorcycles (Okada), tricycles (Keke Napep), unpainted taxis and commercial sex workers in the Territory.
The meeting noted that the activities of these categories of people gave rise to illegal motor parks and other dark spots around the city which could easily be used by hoodlums to perpetrate their nefarious activities and therefore resolved to increase surveillance of the various security flash points such as illegal motor parks, uncompleted buildings, Mosques, Churches and market places.
It warned all owners of uncompleted buildings to evict all those illegally occupying the buildings as raids would be carried out to apprehend such people except the security men guarding the buildings.
After reviewing the measures taken to secure the Nyanya motor park which was a target of bomb attack in 2014, the meeting expressed satisfaction with the facilities put in place to secure the lives of commuters who would be using the park and therefore agreed that the park should be immediately re-opened to the public.
The meeting observed that the closure of the Nyanya Motor park gave rise to many illegal motor parks around the area which not only posed a threat to security but also causing heavy traffic gridlock on the highway leading to the loss of many man hours.