Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Army reports that its soldiers on various internal security operations across the country, including the countryterrorism operations, have killed several terrorists, suicide bombers, bandits, cultists, armed robbers, among other criminals groups, terrorising the country.
The soldiers also captured several arms and ammunitions, including gun trucks, motorcycles, Anti-Aircraft Guns, PKT Guns, Rocket Propelled Guns Tube Rocket Propelled Gun bombs, AK 47 Rifles, 25 Rounds of Anti-Aircraft Gun, 723 Rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 51 Rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, 52 Rounds of 7.62 X 54mmR (PKT) ammunition, surgical kits, uniforms and warm clothing.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, who made the disclosure, said 16 persons, comprising 12 women and 4 children, held captive by the insurgents were rescued and evacuated to safety.
Iliyasu also said that two suicide bombers who tried to attack an army base at Gwoza in Borno State were killed.
Iliyasu statement reads:
“In what has now become a recurring decimal for the Boko Haram criminal elements across Operation LAFIYA DOLE Theatre, owing to the growing effectiveness of the Nigerian Army Super Camp Concept, some criminal Boko Haram elements mounted on 5 Gun Trucks and motorcycles attempted to infiltrate 112 Task Force Battalion troops’ location at Mafa in Mafa LGA of Borno State on 1 December 2019. In a shameless display of poor training and tactics, the marauding criminals made themselves easy target, as they fell prey to the superior fire power power of the resilient and highly professional troops of the said Battalion.
“At the end of the encounter which lasted for about 40 minutes, the criminals once again suffered heavy casualties in both men and equipment as they were seen retreating in dissaray with some of their dead and wounded. However, the dogged troops of the Unit embarked on a hot pursuit of the scampering insurgents and exploited their withdrawal route.
“During the exploitation, troops recovered 3 Boko Haram bodies ( 2 of them strapped with suicide vests). Additionally, one Boko Haram criminals’ Gun Truck, one motorcycle, one Anti-Aircraft Gun, one PKT Gun, one Rocket Propelled Gun Tube were captured by the troops. Other items that were equally captured by the troops include 2 Rocket Propelled Gun bombs, 2 AK 47 Rifles, 25 Rounds of Anti-Aircraft Gun, 723 Rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 51 Rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, 52 Rounds of 7.62 X 54mmR (PKT) ammunition, surgical kits, Boko Haram terrorists uniforms and warm clothing were also captured by the gallant troops.
“In a similar development, 2 female suicide bombers attempted to infiltrate the Defence Company of 26 Task Force Brigade Garrison location at Gwoza in Gwoza LGA of Borno State on 1 December 2019. Consequently, the eagle eyed soldiers deployed on sentry duty identified the criminal intruders and neutralized them before they could detonate their suicide vests.
“In yet another development, based on credible intelligence, troops of 21 Special Armoured Brigade in conjunction with elements of the Civilian Joint Task Force conducted a robust Clearance Operation to suspected Boko Haram enclaves at Zua and Kotembe Villages in Bama LGA of Borno State in the early hours of 2 December 2019. Incidentally, the cowardly remnant Boko Haram criminals hibernating in the general area opened fire on the advancing troops from an ineffective range and fled in disarray towards Kerawa along the Nigeria- Cameroon boarder. Nevertheless, the gallant troops continued with their advance and bravely searched the area. It is gratifying to note that, 12 women and 4 children held captives by the insurgents were rescued and evacuated to safety.
“Elsewhere, other ongoing Nigerian Army Operations and Exercises conducted across the country continue to yield positive results as our gallant troops continue to decimate the criminal gangs and deny them freedom of action.
“Relatedly, troops of 9 Brigade Garrison on Exercise CROCODILE SMILE IV, while acting on credible intelligence from some law-abiding citizens, conducted a successful Cordon and Search Operation in a resident of one notorious drug peddler in Ipaja area of Lagos State. During the Operation, troops busted and discovered a large underground makeshift bunker used for the storage of large quantities of different kinds of illicit drugs.
“In a related development, troops of 146 Battalion on Exercise CROCODILE SMILE IV also neutralized one bandit while others are believed to have escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds during an encounter at Lafarge Company general area in Akamkpa LGA of Cross Rivers State. Also, troops of 16 Brigade Garrison on Exercise CROCODILE SMILE IV arrested one armed robbery suspect and recovered one locally fabricated pistol at Tombia Roundabout in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
“Similarly, on 1 December 2019, acting on credible information, troops of 343 Artillery Regiment, Quick Response Force on Operation CROCODILE SMILE IV raided a cultists’ staging area along Ahoada Road, Elele in Ikwerre LGA of Rivers State. After a brief gun battle, the criminals retreated into the nearby forest. However, the troops neutralized 2 of the cultists and recovered one AK 47 Rifle, one locally made pistol and 30 Rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition.
“In a similar vein, troops of 8 Division Garrison while conducting Clearance Operations, discovered a bandits’ logistics camp at Tagimba area in Gudu LGA of Sokoto State. However, the criminals fled the location before arrival of the unrelenting troops. Nevertheless, the troops destroyed their Logistics and exploited further ahead.
“Also, same troops, while conducting aggressive fighting patrol along Katsina – Gusau Road, arrested 2 suspected bandits, recovered one AK 47 Rifle and 20 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai commends troops for their exceptional display of patriotism, professionalism and responsiveness. He however admonishes them to remain resilient and continue to be steadfast in the fight against criminal elements across the nation.”