Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian army said its troops on counter insurgency operations in the north have arrested 76, terrorists including top contractors and informants who regularly supplies the group with logistics and information.
The soldiers also rescued 161, persons held captives by the terrorists among them 79, men, 76, women and six children.
Media coordinator in charge of Nigerian army operations Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, said the soldiers equally recovered several arms and ammunitions, foodstuffs, vehicles and other logistics used by the terrorists to carry out their deadly activities.
Iliyasu in a statement listed major achievements of the army in the counter insurgency war, anti Banditry fight and other internal security operations of the service across the country.
“As the year 2019 drew to a close, the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army continued to sustain their onslaught against remnants of the Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the North East, decimating many of them and rescuing some women and children in the process. In like manner, the troops continued their dogged operational efforts aimed at ridding the NW and indeed other geo-political zones of the presence and activities of bandits and other criminal elements across the country.
“On 27 December, 2019, the troops of Nigerian Army Super Camp 7 deployed at Bama in Bama LGA of Borno State had meeting engagements during their offensive clearance operations against Boko Haram criminals at Tafana 1, Tafana 2 and Tafana 3 Villages all in Bama LGA. The troops neutralized one Boko Haram terrorist, captured one other alive as well as rescued 8 women and 6 children. The rescued children were immediately administered with Polio Vaccines. “The gallant troops also destroyed the criminals’ hideouts, captured their flags, recovered16 arrows and 32 refilled rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition during the encounter. The discovery of refilled ammunition is indicative of acute shortage of ammunition and related resources in the criminals’ holding.
“In a related development, troops of 25 Task Force Brigade deployed at Nigerian Army Super Camp 2 Damboa in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State, on 25 December 2019 conducted a sting operation and arrested one high profile Boko Haram informant/logistics supplier named Ibrahim Bulama Buba and 2 others suspected to be his couriers at Shuwari village in Damboa District.
Similarly, troops of 242 Bn deployed at Charlie 6 Check Point in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State arrested suspected Boko Haram criminals’ logistics suppliers named Abubakar Aisami and Modu Baba with food stuff and drugs concealed in a bag of smashed corn powder intended for delivery to Boko Haram criminals.
“In another development, the troops of Sector 3 Mobile Team in conjunction with elements of Sector 2 Multi National Joint task Force conducted Operation LIFE LINE in the general area of Monguno, Gasarwa, Wamiri, Badu, Gudumbali and Kukawa in Monguno, Guzamala and Kukawa LGAs of Borno State. “The troops engaged the marauding Boko Haram criminals in a fierce fire fight forcing them to speedily retreat in disarray towards Garere Village, a critical gateway in Guzamala LGA leading into the Lake Chad Tumbuns.
“The troops conducted a thorough search of the illegal market place and in the process recovered and destroyed 15 vehicles belonging to the Boko Haram criminals, arrested 75 suspected Boko Haram criminals’ agents and equally rescued 147 civilians among whom were 79 males and 68 females who had been under the captivity of the criminal elements. The rescued civilians were conveyed to a humanitarian facility in Monguno and thereafter handed over to officials of Borno State Emergency Management Agency. The children among them were administered with polio vaccine by the Buratai Intervention Task Force Initiative.
“In the North West, on 23rd December, 2019, troops of 17 Brigade, while on a clearance operation, encountered 2 bandits on a motorcycle along Faskari-Zanfarawa Road in Faskari LGA of Katsina State and engaged them in a hot pursuit. Troops recovered one locally fabricated Pump Action Gun.
In a related development, same troops recovered one AK 47 Rifle loaded with 7 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition during clearance operations along Batsari – Jibia Road in Batsari LGA of Katsina State. Also, on 24 December 2019, one repentant bandit submitted one AK 47 Rifle to the troops of 35 Battalion Katsina in conjuction with Katsina State Amnesty Committee.
“Similarly, on 27 December 2019, troops of 8 Division pursued and made contact with bandits that rustled some cows and sheep from Jagbanda village in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara State. Accordingly, the resilient troops neutralized one of the bandits and recovered one AK 47 Rifle loaded with 13 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, alongside the rustled animals.
“Also of significant note, troops of 1 Division Garrison on 25 December 2019 during security patrols arrested one Mr Moses Ali with a locally made gun loaded with 9 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition at Ningon Gari in Sanga LGA of Kaduna State. The same gallant troops arrested 7 suspects during a Cordon and Search operations conducted at 13 settlements of Kuyeri Mountains along Jere – Kagarko Road in Kagarko LGA of Kaduna State.
“Also, on 27 December 2019, the troops of Operation MESA conducted security patrols that yielded in the arrest of 5 suspected Sara Suka militia group members with some quantities of substance suspected to be Cannabis Sativa and other illicit drugs at Filin Ball and Sabon Layi area in Jos North LGA of Plateau State.
“Earlier, on 24 December 2019, the Chairmen of both Langtang North and South LGAs of Plateau State handed over recovered weapons and accessories from repentant militias to the troops of Nigerian Army Forward Operational Base, Shendam. The weapons include one Gun B10, 3 General Purpose Machine Guns, 13 AK 47 Rifles, 5 FN Rifles/magazines, 8 G3 Rifles, 2 Mark 4 Rifles, 3 SETME Auto Rifles, 4 SMG Rifles, 3 Pump Action Guns, one Single Barrel Gun and 13 locally made Guns. Other weapons and accessories so submitted were 6 locally made SMGs, 5 locally made pistols, 15 AK 47 Rifle Magazines, one AK 47 Rifle Top Cover, one General Purpose Machine Gun Piston and Breechblock, 41 live cartridges, 2 Rocket Propelled Gun Tubes, 3 Bombs, one locally made magazine, 5 SMG magazines, one Mark 4 magazine, 6 rounds of 38mm Special ammunition, 3 SETME magazines, 34 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 101 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 102 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, Beretta Pistol, one 60mm Mortar, one fragmental jacket, 121 rounds of 7.62mm metal link, 3 chargers, 11 Anti-Riot Grenades and 9 Dane Guns. This landmark submission of arms and ammunition portend great prospect for a reign of peace and security on the Plateau and its adjoining environs.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai commends personnel of the Nigerian Army for the successes so far recorded throughout the Year 2019 in Operation LAFIYA DOLE and all other operations across the Country. He assures them of improved welfare in the Year 2020 and further commends Field Commanders and Principal Staff Officers as well as other officers and men for their efforts in implementating all strategic directives in the preceding year”.