Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Army says that its counterinsurgency soldiers in the North-East have killed scores of terrorists and captured gun trucks, arms and other sophisticated weaponry from terror groups Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West African Province (ISWAP).
The Media Coordinator in charge of Nigerian Army Operations, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, who made the disclosure, said one Boko Haram fighter identified as Koise Bulama was captured alive by the soldiers of 25 Task Force Brigade deployed at Damboa in Borno State in conjunction with elements of the Civilian Joint Task Force.
He listed some of the weapons recovered from the terrorists to include one Buffalo gun truck, one anti-aircraft gun, 3 machine guns, 2 AK 47 rifles, 141 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, one suicide vest, one Improvised Explosive Device (IED) box,10 motorcycles, one pumping machine and some mechanical tools.
Iliyasu’s statement, which listing some of the achievements of the army in the ongoing insurgency war and other society operations of the Nigerian army, reads:
“Despite heightened propaganda to the contrary, troops of the Nigerian Army continue to sustain the ongoing counter-terrorism operations, making life unbearable for the marauding remnants of the Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West African Province’s criminals across the North East Theatre during the period under review. On 9 February 2020, troops of 25 Task Force Brigade deployed at Damboa in Borno State in conjunction with elements of the Civilian Joint Task Force while on a fighting patrol established contact with the remnants of Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West African Province criminals hibernating within their Area of Responsibility with Gun Trucks as well as motorcycles. During the ensuing meeting engagement which occurred at Njaba along Damboa – Bale Road, the troops unleashed superior and overwhelming firepower to obliterate the criminals. At the end of the encounter, several of the insurgents were neutralized while others escaped with gunshot wounds. One of the Boko Haram fighters named Koise Bulama was captured alive by the valiant troops. Additionally, one Buffalo Gun Truck, one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 3 Machine Guns, 2 AK 47 Rifles, 141 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, one suicide vest, one Improvised Explosive Device Box,10 motorcycles, one pumping machine and some mechanical tools were captured from the marauding criminal insurgents.
“In a related development, in the early hours of 9 February 2020, some elements of the remnant Boko Haram criminals suffered yet another defeat in the hands of troops of 121 Battalion deployed in Pulka, Gwoza LGA of Borno State during an apparent failed attempt to attack the troops’ location. The dogged troops repelled the attack and neutralised one insurgent in the process while others retreated in disarray under the cover of darkness. Earlier on, during the night of 5/6 February 2020, troops of 112 Task Force Battalion deployed at Ngwom in Mafa LGA of Borno State thwarted an attempt by the Boko Haram criminals to infiltrate their defensive location. In their highly responsive and well-coordinated response, the troops brought to bear their superior night fighting capability against the marauding criminals, neutralising one of the infiltrators while many of them escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds as evident from the trails of blood discovered along the insurgents’ withdrawal route. During the exploitation phase, the troops recovered one Baofeng Hand Held Radio, one Rocket Propelled Gun bomb, 101 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition and 2 rounds of 60mm mortar bombs abandoned by the escaping criminals.
“In yet another development that occurred on 10 February 2020, the troops of 212 Battalion deployed at Tungushe in Konduga LGA of Borno State made contact with some Boko Haram criminal elements mounted on 6 Gun Trucks within their Area of Responsibility. The troops swiftly engaged the marauding criminals in a fierce firefight. In the aftermath, 3 Boko Haram criminals were neutralised while one Buffalo Gun Truck, one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 2 AK 47 Rifles, 2 AK 47 Rifle Magazines and 60 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition were also captured from the insurgents as they succumbed to the superior firepower of the troops. Regrettably, one gallant soldier paid the supreme price during the encounter.
“Similarly, on the same day, troops of 3 Battalion (Main) deployed at Rann in Kala/Balge LGA of Borno State delivered a devastating blow on some Boko Haram criminal elements. The insurgents attacked the troops’ location in 4 Gun Trucks alongside a number of their foot soldiers. The vigilant troops responded swiftly, engaging the criminals in a brief firefight that lasted for about 20 minutes. At the end of the encounter, the heroic troops neutralized 2 of the criminal insurgents. Equally, the troops captured one General Purpose Machine Gun, one AK 47 Rifle, one Baofeng Hand Held Radio and 33 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition.
“Additionally, on the same date, troops of 21 Special Armoured Brigade deployed at Bama, Borno State conducted a robust clearance operation at Kote (a suspected Boko Harm criminals enclave). On reaching the objective, the troops discovered that the criminals had fled the enclave. Nevertheless, the troops destroyed all the structures within the vicinity. It is also heart-warming to note that, 7 women and 9 children held hostage by the criminals were rescued while 2 Boko Haram flags, one motorcycle and one motorcycle engine were recovered.
“In a similar vein, during a well-coordinated sting operation conducted by troops of 231 Battalion in conjunction with elements of 331 Artillery Regiment between 1 – 3 February 2020, troops arrested 11 high profile Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province logistics suppliers within Biu LGA of Borno State. The arrested suspects include Aminu Abubakar, aka Aminu Alhaji Habu, Gambo Abubakar – aka Gambo Alhaji Habu, Abdullahi Alhaji Habu – aka Audu Alhaji Habu, Zaradini Jafaru, Lawali Abdullahi, Lawali Sando, Sule Ahmadu – aka Sule Dan Kasa, Saidu Ibrahim – aka Saidu Doctor, Audu Haruna – aka Mainasara, Isiya Salisu, Usman Alhaji Ahmadu – aka Manu and Nasiru Mallam Abbas.
“Likewise, on 10 February 2020, based on credible information about the criminal activities of some Boko Haram elements along Rail Line Auno – Jakana in Kaga LGA of Borno State, troops of 212 Battalion swiftly mobilized to the general area for an aggressive clearance operation along the fringes of the Rail Line. The troops, therefore, cleared Lassa, Jewu, Wazilongla, Male, Rail Line Jakana – Maiduguri and other suspected Boko Haram criminals hideouts. During the operation, troops arrested one Boko Haram criminal named Umar Musa at an abandoned Boko Haram hideout. Troops discovered one abandoned Boko Haram criminals’ Gun Truck at Jewu Village.
“Equally, on 8 February 2020, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team attached to troops of 151 Battalion while on clearance operation along Banki Junction – Miyanti Road in Bama LGA of Borno State discovered and safely detonated an Improvised Explosive Device planted by the criminal insurgents. Similarly, 2 Improvised Explosive Devices equally planted by the cowardly Boko Haram terrorists were discovered and safely detonated by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team attached to troops of Army Super Camp 19 deployed in Bitta, Gwoza LGA of Borno State.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, wishes to reassure the general public of the resolve of the Nigerian Army to continue to execute our constitutional mandate professionally and responsively for a safe and secure Nigeria. He also thanks all well-meaning Nigerians for their continued support, goodwill and understanding towards the gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army.”