Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), said soldiers on counter-insurgency war in the North East have continued to record successes in their operations of curbing the activities of both the Boko Haram and the Islamic States of West Africa Province (ISWAP), terrorists.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations Major General John Enenche, who made this known, said the soldiers killed 11 terrorists and recovered several arms and ammunition and dislodged them from their hitherto strongholds in the area. He also said that two members of the Boko Haram group, Bula Bello and Yerimari Gana surrendered to soldiers of 21 SAB Garrison deployed at Bama.
He, however, lamented that one soldier was killed during the operation.
Enenche in a statement listing the achievements of military operations in North East said: “Troops of Sector 1 Operation LAFIYA DOLE (OPLD) has in the last seven days engaged the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) hibernating within its own area of operation in the theatre.
“Within the period, on 22 April, 2020, troops of 121 Task Force (TF) Battalion under 26 TF Bde while in ambush position, made contact with BHTs at crossing point Pulka-Firgi road. One BHT was killed; one loaded AK 47 rifle was recovered. Additionally, a motorcycle painted in military colour along with one locally-fabricated hand grenade were also recovered.
“Similarly, on 24 April, 2020, troops of 192 Bn of 26 Bde deployed at Gwoza, while on night ambush operations came in contact with BHTs attempting to cross through the Mandara mountains to Sambisa Forest and in the ensuing fire fight neutralised 2 BHTs while several others escaped in disarray with gunshot wounds while a bicycle and 2 copies of the Holy Qur’an with assorted clothing items were recovered.
“In the same vein, on 27 April, 2020, troops of Echo Company 114 Bn in blocking position at Izge Response Area (RA) received information of BHTs attack at Yenegu village about 5 kilometres from own troops location.
“On receipt of the information, the dogged troops swiftly mobilised and engaged the BHTs who fled due to superior fire power from the troops. No casualty was recorded by own troops while 2 BHTs were neutralised.
“Consequently, while 26 TF Bde was hammering the terrorists along the Mandara mountains, the gallant troops of 152 TF Bn deployed at Kumshe under 21 Special Armoured Brigade (SAB) engaged BHTs in a fierce fire fight with the BHTs who attacked their location on 22 April, 2020. Unfortunately in the process, one soldier paid the supreme sacrifice while another sustained gunshot wound. However, 3 BHTs were neutralised, 1 motorcycle captured as others were suspected to have fled with life threatening injuries.
“Also on 24 April, 2020, troops of 151 Bn of 21 SAB conducted ambush operations along Firgi general area and made contact with BHTs. No casaulty on own troops while items recovered includes 1 Ak 47 rifle, 2 motorcycles and 2 bicyles.
“Consolidating on the gains of the successes so far achieved, troops of 152 Bn in another ambush operation on 26 April 20 made contact with BHTs food supply party near their crossing point at Miyanti. The criminals were engaged, a soldier sustained minor injury while 3 BHTs were killed, 4 carts conveying several food items and clothing were destroyed at the location.
“While on general clearance operations within Sector 1 AOR, troops of 222, 151, 21 SAB Gar and 202 Bns under 21 SAB were led by the Garrison Commander 21SAB on clearance operations to Bula Shatane village 15 Kilometres from Bama and came in contact with BHTs who fled on sighting the ferocious troops advancing towards their location with heavy gun fire. The village was successfully cleared while all makeshift houses were destroyed.
“Due to the ongoing offensive action within the Sector AOR, on 23 April 2020, 2 members of the BHTs came out from Bula Bello and Yerimari Gana and surrendered to own troops of 21 SAB Garrison deployed at Bama. The 2 surrendered terrorists were handed over to 21SAB Military Intelligence Regiment.
“During preliminary investigation, they revealed that the sustained military operations by land and air made them to surrender.
“Additionally, on 21 April 2020, a total of 19 IDPs arrived Army Super Camp 6 Bama from Jebe village. The IDPs were searched, screened and accommodated at own holding facility pending the conclusion of preliminary investigation. However, the IDPs were fed while the minors were administered with polio vaccines.
“In summary about 11 BHTs criminals were neutralized while many escaped with injuries and equipment and supplies captured and destroyed while some surrendered.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria remain resolute and highly committed to ending the Boko Haram insurgency. The public is requested to continue to provide timely and credible information for the enhancement of our operations.”