The Nigerian Armed Forces have continued clearance operations of the remnants of suspected Boko Haram terrorists in the nation’s northeast, killing some suspected terrorists and rescuing persons held hostage.
A statement by a spokesman for the military, Colonel Sani Usman, said troops of 21 Brigade Nigerian Army on April 21, carried out clearance operations at Bulari, Tori 1, 2 and 3 during which they successfully cleared the general area of remnants of Boko Haram terrorists.
During the operation, 10 terrorists were killed and one was captured alive while two Civilian JTF accompanying the troops lost their lives.
The troops rescued seven civilians and recovered a Volkswagen Golf car, 15 bicycles and various bags of foodstuffs.
In another operation, the troops of 22 Brigade intercepted 26 persons comprising mostly women and children, coming towards Adah village in Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State, who on interrogation stated that they were held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists, but escaped, as their captors were moving towards Lake Chad general area because of troops’ presence.
Troops of the same Brigade also carried out a fighting patrol, cordon and search operation along Dikwa-Marte road, Kaje, Selenge, Manekura, Mane Gana and Gawayi villages.
Although there was no encounter with the terrorists, the troops recovered five motorcycles, six Boko Haram terrorists’ flags and four bags of grinded corn in Mane Gana village.
They also rescued three women and five children at the same village. The rescued persons told the troops that their husbands were actually Boko Haram terrorists who had ran away towards Lake Chad area due to immense pressure from the military clearance operations.
The statement further said that troops of Three Battalion also conducted patrol towards Diema, Sigel and Kala in which they had an encounter with Boko Haram terrorists.
In the operation, troops killed eight suspected terrorists and recovered two Dane Guns and four assorted batteries.
“The troops of Seven Division Special Fighting Forces attached to 25 Task Force Brigade Damboa, at a checkpoint, arrested a suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Abubakar Bello and six other suspects carrying 28 gallons of “Turkey” brand of vegetable oil, eight bags of flour, 130 crates of soft drinks and two bags of sugar.
“In addition, five mobile telephone handsets, one external hard drive and five flash drives, two national identity cards and the sum of 70,000 Naira were recovered from him,” the statement read.
Preliminary investigation discovered that the terrorists now dilute the vegetable oil with other substances to produce diesel to power their generators.
The troops of 254 Task Force Battalion in conjunction with vigilantes and Borno Youths Empowerment Scheme, also carried out clearance operations at Mufurundi, Kaleri, Masemari, Bego, Bale, Gadzama and Gagantilo villages along Damboa-Bale-Gwoza road.
During the operation, the troops encountered and detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), buried by the terrorists at Gadzama village.
They also encountered Boko Haram terrorists at Bego where they engaged the suspected terrorists, neutralised them and cleared their camps within the general area.
In the encounter, the troops killed nine Boko Haram terrorists and recovered one AK-47 rifle with registration number TH5712 and 17 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition.
They also rescued 157 persons held hostages by the terrorists.
The troops of 26 Task Force Brigade stationed in Gwoza on Thursday also intercepted eight suspected Boko Haram terrorists, trying to enter Gwoza town.
The military said that though they claimed to be farmers coming from Shiadawey, Takwala and Amdaga Madachi villages respectively, which were known terrorists hideouts, preliminary investigations showed that they were indeed terrorists on a recruitment drive.
This was made manifest when the sum of 637,000 Naira was discovered on Abdullahi Yakubu, who was identified by another escapee/suspected Boko Haram terrorist as having trading links with the terrorists while the others were confirmed to have participated in carrying out various terrorists acts for the Boko Haram terrorists group.
One Ibrahim Bute, 67 years, of Gobara village was arrested by the troops on suspicion of being a Boko Haram kingpin.
Troops of 114 Task Force Battalion of 28 Task Force Brigade also conducted a fighting patrol along Bitta-Madube-Izge axis same day.
The troops of 117 Task Force Battalion following a tip off, also arrested a suspected Boko Haram terrorist who gave his name as Bello Isah at Mugulvu village.
The unit also discovered and retrieved 29 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) rounds of ammunition hidden at a farm in Gella village.
Colonel Usman said that the troops in various deployments within the theatre remained vigilant with soaring morale and committed to their duties of clearing the remnants of Boko Haram hiding in various remote corners and crannies.