Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says that troops of Operation FIRE BALL have arrested a Boko Haram member who specialises in manufacturing Improvised Explosive Device (IED) for the terror group.
The soldiers are reported to have recovered materiel used in making the explosives from the suspect who is undergoing interrogation.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Organisation, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, who made the disclosure on Saturday, said the soldiers foiled an attempt by the terrorists to attack Army Super Camp 19 Bitta, and killed scores of their fighters.
General Onyeuko said statement:
‘The troops of Operation FIRE BALL in continuation of aggressive clearance operation to stamp out the remnants of the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Terrorists in their identified enclaves in the North East region have continued to record more successes.
‘On 11 November 2020, troops of 151 Battalion deployed in Special Response Area Miyanti acting on credible intelligence embarked on an aggressive Fighting Patrol to clear Boko Haram elements in their hideout in the general area of Ladantar Village. Expectedly, the gallant troops made contact with the terrorists and engaged them with overwhelming firepower forcing the terrorists to withdraw in disarray.
‘Nevertheless, the unrelenting troops gave hot pursuit and inflicted heavy casualties on the fleeing terrorists. In the aftermath of the decisive encounter, 2 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists were neutralised and one terrorist Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert was captured. Also, equipment captured includes one Box of Service Tools, one Gas Cylinder suspected to be for making IED.
‘In another development, troops of Army Super Camp 19 Bitta came under attack from an unconfirmed number of Boko Haram Terrorists who attempted to infiltrate the heavily fortified camp. The eagle-eyed troops who were at high alert repelled the criminals with superior firepower forcing them to withdraw in disarray as bloodstains littered along their escape paths.
‘Similarly, on 8 November 2020, troops of 26 Task Force Brigade Garrison deployed in Gwoza observed Boko Haram criminals advancing to their location in 4 gun trucks and an unconfirmed number of foot soldiers. The gallant troops engaged the marauding criminals with heavy firepower neutralising one suicide bomber while others flee in the utmost confusion.
‘Additionally, on 8 November 2020, troops of 192 Battalion deployed in Gwoza also foiled an attempted attack on their location. After the brief encounter, the criminals escaped with gunshot wounds as traces of blood of dragged casualties were seen during exploitation. However, the valiant troops captured the following; one AK 47 Rifle, one AK 47 Rifle Cover, 4 rounds of Light Machine Gun, 15 rounds of Fabricated 7.62mm, one AK 47 Rifle magazine, 2 rounds of Brownie Machine Gun, 7.62mm links and one Dane Gun.
‘Others include 2 Rocket Propelled Grenade bombs and 66 rounds of PKT.
‘The troops of Operation FIRE BALL are hereby commended for their resilience, gallantry and professionalism exhibited since the beginning of the Operation. They are equally encouraged not to rest on their oars but build on the successes recorded so far.
‘The entire populace of the North East region are hereby assured of the Nigerian military high command determination to finally rout the remnants of BHT/ISWAP criminals from their enclaves in this zone.’