Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has announced that Nigerian military troops on counterinsurgency operations in the North-East have killed a suspected top Boko Haram commander in Borno State.
The dead commander, identified as Abu Usumah, was said to have been among the insurgents killed on March 22nd, by troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE while on a special clearance operation at Gorgi in Damboa LGA of Borno State, code-named ‘Operation AYISO TAMONUMA’, set up to wipe out the remnants of key Boko Haram elements.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, who made the disclosure on Monday, said that the death of the terror commander would create a vacuum in Boko Haram leadership.
Onyeuko said in a statement:
“Troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE, while conducting a special clearance operation in a subsidiary operation called Operation AYISO TAMONUMA, on March 22, decimated some key Boko Haram elements in an encounter at Gorgi in Damboa LGA of Borno State.
“In our earlier press briefing, we reported over 100 Boko Haram insurgents neutralized many while scores of them escaped with gunshot wounds. This was in addition to several casualties suffered by the Boko Haram insurgents.
“As an update to that report, it is gratifying to note that, our communication interception confirmed by accurate intelligence revealed that a top Boko Haram commander, ABU USAMAH was among those Boko Haram insurgents killed during that encounter. He had earlier sustained fatal gunshot wounds in the firefight that ensued during the encounter before his foot soldiers hurriedly evacuated him and withdrew. Nevertheless, Abu Usamah died in the process.
“His death has no doubt created a consequential vacuum in the Boko Haram leadership particularly as the gallant troops remain resilient and continue to rout the criminal elements from their last enclaves in the North East.
“In another development, troops of 159 Task Force Battalion, Operation LAFIYA DOLE deployed in Forward Operating Base Kanama, Yunusari LGA of Yobe State, neutralized scores of the Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State’s West Africa Province insurgents who attempted to infiltrate their location on 27 March 2020.
“The terrorists were severely decimated by our gallant ground troops supported by the Air Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE. They withdrew in disarray under superior firepower and were subsequently crushed by own troops.
“Furthermore, during the encounter, several terrorists were neutralised while one gun truck and various arms and ammunition were captured by the troops. These include; one DSHK Gun, 2 AK 47 Rifles, 2 AK 47 Rifle magazines, one Rocket Propelled Grenade bomb, 273 rounds of Anti-Aircraft Gun ammunition, 101 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition, 15 jerricans of Premium Motor Spirit and a Boko Haram terrorists flag.
“Meanwhile, the Military High Command has congratulated the gallant troops for their resilience, courage and dedication to the noble cause of defending our fatherland against the criminal elements. They were equally enjoined to continue to be steadfast and relentless against the enemies of our nation.”