The Nigerian Army says it has killed many insurgents while 16 others have surrendered during various operations by troops in the North-east within the past one week.
The Operations Media Coordinator of the army, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, who confirmed this in a statement on Friday regretted that an officer and a soldier paid the supreme price.
He noted that the incremental raids, clearance patrols, sting operations, cordon and search operations, as well as mortar and artillery bombardment of identified insurgents and bandits’ hideouts, yielded tremendous positive outcomes.
The period, according to him, also witnessed the interception and arrest of several Boko Haram logistics suppliers and informants by the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, as well as the arrest of some bandits and other criminal elements in other parts of the country.
“On November 1, 2019, for instance, 16 insurgents along with eight of their spouses who could no longer bear the heat from the onslaught against them surrendered to the relentless troops of Sector 1, Multinational Joint Task Force at Fotokol,” he said.
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Colonel Iliyasu explained that the surrendered insurgents were later handed over to troops of 3 Battalion at Gamboru Ngala, a border town in the north-eastern zone of the state.
During preliminary interrogation and profiling, the insurgents were said to have confessed to having actively participated in attacks conducted against both military and civilian targets at various times.
Investigation revealed that 14 of them were members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) led by Al-Barnawi while the remaining two belonged to the Abubakar Shekau led Boko Haram faction.
The army operations media coordinator said the repentant insurgents regretted their participation in the heinous crimes and called on their former colleagues to surrender to troops.
In a related incident, a Boko Haram member was said to have met his waterloo on Monday in an attempt to cross into the Sambisa Forest at Bama-Banki Road Junction, when troops sighted and killed him.
On the same day, troops of 195 Battalion who were on clearance patrol along Gubio Road recovered a kit bag containing 480 Rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition suspected to have been abandoned by escaping terrorists.
Elsewhere, troops deployed at Gajigana in Magumeri LGA of Borno State intercepted some Boko Haram insurgents in the early hours of Tuesday.
The insurgents were suspected to be on their way to attack the community to source for food items and other logistics for survival.
However, they were intercepted by troops who killed three of them while several others escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds.
“Unfortunately, one soldier paid the supreme price while two others were wounded in action. The wounded soldiers are currently responding to treatment in a military medical facility,” Iliyasu said.
He added that troops recovered two AK 47 rifles, one Rocket Propelled Gun 7 (RPG 7), five AK 47 magazines, 47 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, and some quantities of hard drugs.
The following day, nine Boko Haram insurgents were killed while others escaped with gunshot wounds following an encounter with troops at Muchima in Damboa LGA of Borno.
During the operation, an insurgent gun truck was destroyed while four AK 47 rifles and a cache of ammunition were recovered.
Meanwhile Colonel Iliyasu confirmed the terrorist attack on Damaturu, the Yobe State capital which was reported by Channels Television on Thursday.
He stated that the attack was thwarted by the combined efforts of ground troops, artillery bombardment, and precision air strikes by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole.
“The encounter led to the decimation of a number of the insurgents in addition to the destruction of one Boko Haram gun truck. Unfortunately, one officer paid the supreme price during the encounter,” he said.
Part of the statement read:
Outside the North East theatre, troops on Operation MESA continued to increase the momentum of their operations across the nation during the period.
For instance, on 4th November 2019, troops of 1 Division Garrison deployed at Damakasuwa in Kauru LGA of Kaduna State arrested one Mustapha Usman Shehu while driving a Honda salon car with Registration number ABUJA BU 70 RBC along Damakasuwa – Kano Road with a Pump Action gun loaded with two cartridges concealed in the vehicle compartment.
Relatedly, on 5th November 2019 troops of 82 Division, while on a random Stop and Search Operation, arrested a notorious gun runner, Leonard Asogwa in a commercial bus travelling from Onitsha to Jos.
A meticulous search of his baggage revealed two neatly concealed Pump Action guns with 25 live cartridges.
Additionally, troops of 1 Division Garrison, while acting on credible information, conducted a successful Cordon and Search operation at the country home of one Alhaji Shehu Abubakar of Yakawada Town in Giwa LGA of Kaduna State on 5th November 2019.
Items recovered during the operation include one AK 47 Rifle with four rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, one locally fabricated Revolver with three rounds of 7.62mm NATO and one Pump Action gun with six live cartridges.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is one of the suppliers of arms and ammunition to kidnappers and bandits terrorising the residents of Kaduna and neighbouring states.
Furthermore, troops of Operation MESA in the North Central in conjunction with elements of Special Forces Bikers conducted clearance operation at Dam 1 and Timchan Villages in Kadarko District, Wase LGA of Plateau State as well as Kurmi Village in Ibi LGA of Taraba State.
During the operations, 10 suspected militias were arrested while troops also recovered 101 Rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, 71 Rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, one plastic explosive and 36 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) at the residence of one Shehu Jatau, a notorious militia gang leader, who was earlier arrested in a hotel in Central Area, Abuja.
Additionally, one locally fabricated Rifle and a live cartridge were also recovered at Timchan Village.
In the Niger Delta region, troops of 146 Battalion (Main) in conjunction with personnel of Nigeria Police Finima Division while acting on information, conducted a swift raid operation against some suspected gunmen at Okobi and Conkiri Long John Abalamabie Communities in Bonny LGA of Rivers State.
The raid led to the arrest of one suspect and recovery of seven rounds of 9mm ammunition, a pair of camouflage uniform, one black beret, and wraps of substance suspected to be Cannabis Sativa (Indian hemp).