Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters says that Nigerian forces on counter-insurgency operations in the northeast have killed 45 terrorists and bandits and recovered several arms and ammunitions in the last one week.
The soldiers are said to have also rescued about 40 hostages held by the terrorists.
Troops have also arrested one Alhaji Audu said to be responsible for several attacks in Benue State. The arrest of the suspect is said to have brought relative peace to the surrounding communities.
Two soldiers, however, lost their lives during the operation.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Eneche made the disclosure in Abuja at a media briefing on military operations between June 11 and 18.
Gen Enenche said troops in the Niger Delta uncovered and destroyed 5 illegal refineries, 14 surface metal storage tanks, 9 coolers, 9 cooking ovens in the last one week. While about 2,640.5 barrels of stolen crude oil, 80,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil and 43,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit were seized.
Giving an update on the various military operations across the country, Enenche said:
‘The Armed Forces of Nigeria has continued its major operation across the country. In this regard, our regular update is necessary to acquaint the general public on the progress. This brief will cover the period 11 – 18 June 2020.
‘In the North-East, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have intensified its offensives against the BHT/ISWAP terrorists through concerted and deliberate land and air operations, in line with the operational mandate to decisively end all terrorists’ activities in this region. Significantly, between 11 – 18 June 2020, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE carried out several aggressive clearance operations at various locations within the theatre, including a daring counter-attack on Boko Haram terrorists who attempted to infiltrate Monguno town on 12 June 2020. The counter-attack by own troops at Monguno resulted in the neutralization of 41 terrorists and the recovery of a large cache of arms, ammunition and equipment, as well as the rescue of 33 captives, amongst others.
‘In the North-West, Armed Forces of Nigeria troops have continued to build on recent successes against armed bandits operating in the region following intensive ground and air assaults on their identified bases, with scores of bandits killed. Within the period under review, the Land and Air components of Operations HADARIN DAJI, KATSINA and ACCORD, carried out aggressive Clearance Operations at several identified bandits’ enclaves. Most importantly was the attack on 3 camps operated by one “Adamu Aleiro” in a forest along the Katsina-Zamfara boundary area. Scores of bandits were killed during that encounter, with several others injured. In the process, troops also apprehended 3 suspected bandits, including one Ibrahim Isa clad in military camouflage while 6 kidnapped victims were rescued, amongst other recoveries.
‘Furthermore, AFN troops under the auspices of Operation ACCORD carried out several Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities at various communities within the North-West theatre. These efforts include Drilling and completion of 7 boreholes at Mazoji, Kururubai and Gabasawa B communities in Daura LGA, Tudun Matawalle, Rahamawa and Tudun-Dole and Natsinta communities of Katsina LGA. Presently, 2 additional boreholes are being drilled in Dangeza and Dunya villages in Danmusa LGA of Katsina State. Plans are also underway to construct a Medical Dispensary in Mazoji community in Daura LGA, as well as renovate schools in the vicinity.
‘Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE on 14 Jun 2020 apprehended one militia leader popularly known as Alhaji Audu from Olegeje community in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State. In the course of the operation, arms and ammunition were recovered. Alhaji Audu was suspected to be responsible for several attacks in the community and has been on the wanted list of security agencies for some time now. The arrest of Alhaji Audu has brought relative peace to the surrounding communities.
‘In the Niger-Delta region, AFN troops have continued to degrade the activities of economic saboteurs through ongoing anti-illegal oil bunkering operations in the general area. Within the week under review, a total of 5 illegal refineries, 14 surface metal storage tanks, 9 coolers, 9 cooking ovens were confiscated and the site has been earmarked for swamp buggy operations. While about 2,640.5 barrels of stolen crude oil, 80,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil and 43,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit were seized. Troops also neutralized 4 militants and recovered arms and ammunition during clearance operations on pirates/militants’ camps at Ibokiri and New Jerusalem in Degema LGA of Rivers State.
‘Since the commencement of Operation ACCORD, several high-profile terrorists’ and bandits’ leaders have surrendered while many others have been neutralized and their equipment captured by our gallant troops. In the period under review, the AFN has neutralized 52 criminals across all theatres with the destruction and recovery of weapons.
‘The Military High Command appreciates the general public for their cooperation in providing credible information which has so far facilitated the successes of these operations. You see something say something to the security agencies.’