Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Army said its soldiers fighting the anti-terror war in the North East have killed three terrorists and rescued 95 persons held hostage by the group in Borno State.
Acting director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Saghir Musa, listed the 95 hostages to include 42 women, 51 children and two men.
He said the soldiers, working in collaboration with members of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and vigilance group, destroyed some new terrorist camps at Dubula village, along with some bicycles and motorcycle.
He said: “In continuation of the ongoing clearance operations tagged ‘Halaka Dodo’ within Sector 1 Operation LAFIYA DOLE, the troops of 112 Task Force Battalion and 22 Brigade in collaboration with members of civilian JTF and vigilante group had on Saturday, June 22, conducted a robust clearance operation at Kobe and Boboshe villages, respectively.
“The troops discovered newly established camps at Dubula village , with some bicycles and motorcycle tracks. The camp was destroyed and one of the terrorists was neutralised while trying to escape.
“Two terrorist flags, two copies of Quran, one generator and two bicycles were recovered from the camps. Also, 13 women and 26 children were rescued during the operation.
“Twenty-four out of the children rescued were administered with polio vaccines by Nigerian Army Regimental Medical officers in line with the Chief of Army Staff’s directives on collaboration between the Nigerian Army and National Primary Health Care Development Agency to reach out to areas not captured in the polio vaccination exercise.
“Similarly, the acting Commanding Officer of 202 Battalion, in conjunction with JTF, vigilante and hunters conducted a robust offensive clearance operation at Tafana 1 and Tafana 2 villages.
The troops came in contact with some terrorists who fled their camps on sighting the approach of the ferocious troops in mines resistant anti-patrol vehicles. Troops also neutralised the fleeing terrorists. During the operation, two men, 29 women and 25 children were also rescued.
“Other items recovered include two boxes filled with Quran, two terrorists’ flags, five bicycles, five SIM cards of different networks and assorted clothing materials.
“In all the operations and victims so far rescued, it was observed that with the coming of the rainy season, farmers are preparing for the farming season, while the terrorists are also using women and children as farm slaves (labourers) in their farmlands to meet up with daily feeding challenges due to food drought in the forest sustained by the nobly ferocious operations of Nigerian Army troops.”