The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says a top commander of the Boko Haram terrorist group, Abu Usamah, has been killed.
The Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, revealed this in a statement on Monday.
He explained that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole had decimated some key Boko Haram insurgents on March 22, 2020.
Onyeuko noted that the soldiers who were conducting a special clearance operation in a subsidiary operation called Operation Ayiso Tamonuma, had an encounter with the terrorists at Gorgi in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.
He recalled an earlier press briefing in which the military reported that over 100 insurgents were killed while scores of them escaped with gunshot wounds.
According to the brigadier general, this is in addition to several equipment casualties suffered by the Boko Haram members.
“As an update to that report, it is gratifying to note that, own communication intercept confirmed by accurate intelligence revealed that a top Boko Haram Commander, Abu Usamah, was among those Boko Haram insurgents killed during that encounter,” the statement said.
It added, “He (Usamah) 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, Onyeuko said troops killed scores of the Boko Haram Terrorists and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents who attempted to infiltrate their location in Yobe State on Friday last week.
He noted that the feat was recorded by soldiers of 159 Task Force Battalion under Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in Forward Operating Base Kanama in Yunusari LGA.
The terrorists, he said, were severely decimated by gallant ground troops supported by the Air Component of Operation Lafiya Dole, forcing the insurgents to withdraw in disarray.
The Defence Media Operations Director revealed that during the encounter, a gun truck and various arms and ammunition were captured by the troops.
They included one DSHK gun, two AK 47 rifles and 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 flag.
Onyeuko said the Military High Command has congratulated the troops for their resilience, courage and dedication to the noble cause of defending the nation against the criminal elements.