He, however, noted that two soldiers were wounded during the encounter but were already stable and receiving treatment in a military hospital.
Colonel Musa added that troops of 121 and 192 Battalions of Operation Lafiya Dole in collaboration with Civilian JTF and local vigilantes also embarked on clearance operations to end Boko Haram terrorism on Friday.
He explained that the troops effectively cleared Surdewalla, Ranwa, Baladayo, Sabon Gari and Shetimeri villages of Borno State in a simultaneous operation code-named ‘Operation Hard Strike’.
“At Ranwa 11, contact was made with the terrorists, three of them were neutralised, while many were obviously wounded and others escaped,” the army spokesman revealed.
He added, “Troops of 192 Battalion advanced along Sabon Gari and Shetimeri villages where they cleared a scout of Boko Haram terrorists. A make-up shift shelter for suspected insurgents was destroyed.”
Similarly, troops of 177 Task Force Battalion in collaboration with the Civilian JTF cleared Mboa, Mboa-Kura, Yarchida, Bombula, Tshata, and Bamzir villages.
At Furfur village, the soldiers exchanged fire with the insurgents, leading to the death of one suspected terrorist.
Items recovered include one AK47 Rifle, three magazines, 50 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, and one magazine bandolier
While on an assessment visit to FOB Gajigana, the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Major General Abdulmalik Biu, urged the troops to remain decisive and intensify efforts in eliminating the remnants of the Insurgents.
He also conveyed the commendation of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, to the soldiers and the entire troops of the Theatre Command for the recent progress recorded in the fight against terrorism.
The army thanked those who provided the information that led to the successes achieved so far.
It also urged members of the public to continue to be more forthcoming with useful information about the terrorists in their respective localities to the nearest location of the army or other security agencies for necessary action.
UNICEF has raised concern over the number of children recruited and killed by non-state armed groups in Nigeria’s north-east region.
The United Nations children’s agency said this in a statement on Friday, ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Chibok abduction.
“More than 3,500 children, most of whom were aged 13 to 17, were recruited by non-state armed groups between 2013 and 2017 and have been used in the ongoing armed conflict in north-east Nigeria,” it said.
The agency affirmed that the numbers were only those that have been verified, while the true figures were likely to be higher.
It disclosed that in addition to the children, 432 children were killed and maimed, 180 were abducted, and 43 girls were sexually abused in the region in 2018.
UNICEF noted further that more than 100 of the schoolgirls abducted Chibok community of Borno State were still missing.
It said the anniversary of the abduction, marked on April 14, was a grim reminder that widespread abductions of children and grave violations of children’s rights have continued to take place in the North-east.
“Children should feel safe at home, in schools and on their playgrounds at all times,” said Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.
“We are calling on the parties to the conflict to fulfil their obligations under international law to end violations against children and to stop targeting civilian infrastructure, including schools.
“This is the only way we can begin to make lasting improvements in the lives of children in this devastated part of Nigeria,” he added.
According to the statement, non-state armed groups in the North-east have recruited and used children as combatants and non-combatants, raped and forced girls to marry, and committed other grave violations against children since 2012.
It added that some of the girls became pregnant in captivity and gave birth without any medical care or attention.
UNICEF, however, promised to continue to offer its support to the Nigerian Government in its strong efforts to protect children across the country.
It also pledged to continuously work with the Borno State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and other partners to support children who have been rescued or escaped from captivity.
The UN agency said it provided community-based reintegration services to more than 9,800 people formerly associated with armed groups, as well as vulnerable children in communities in collaboration with partners in 2017 and 2018.
These services, it noted, helped to trace children’s families, return them to their communities, and offer psychosocial support, education, vocational training, informal apprenticeships, and opportunities to improve livelihoods.
Nine Afghan policemen were killed when Taliban fighters stormed their checkpoints and launched a follow-up ambush in the eastern Afghanistan city of Ghazni, officials said Saturday.
The assault began early Friday when the Taliban attacked two adjacent checkpoints, Ghazni police spokesman Ahmad Khan Seerat told AFP.
The Taliban then ambushed a group of police rushing to the scene, killing the head of the local police, Seerat added.
In all, nine officers were killed and six were wounded, he said.
The toll was confirmed by Arif Noori, spokesman for the Ghazni governor.
In August, Taliban fighters briefly held the city of Ghazni before they were pushed out by US air strikes and Afghan forces.
Friday’s attack highlights the ongoing fragility of Afghanistan’s security and the risks faced by local security forces as they man vulnerable checkpoints.
President Ashraf Ghani in January said 45,000 security forces have been killed since he took office in September 2014.
On its Twitter account, the Taliban claimed to have killed 12 “soldiers,” though the group frequently exaggerates numbers.
Meanwhile, in Zabul in southern Afghanistan late Friday, Gul Islam Seyal, spokesman for the local governor, told AFP that four policemen were killed and two wounded after a “Taliban infiltrator” opened fire at a checkpoint.
The attacks come as the United States seeks to broker a peace accord with the Taliban and the Kabul government, more than 17 years since the US-led invasion that ousted the Islamist fighters.
The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) says its troops have killed several terrorists and recovered their weapons in the Lake Chad region.
In a statement on Thursday, the Chief of Military Public Information of MNJTF, Colonel Timothy Antigha, stated that the troops intercepted the Boko Haram members in Tunbum Rego.
According to him, the operation was made possible following collaboration with the Cameroonian, Niger and Nigerian Air Forces.
“In a recent engagement, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platforms, as well as ground attack aircraft from a coalition of Cameroonian, Niger and Nigerian Air Forces, intercepted and destroyed Boko Haram Terrorists in Tunbum Rego, a prominent island in Lake Chad, believed to harbour High Valued Boko Haram Targets.
“In a related development, MNJTF troops from Sector 4 attacked Boko Haram assets in Arege, killing scores of terrorists in the process,” he stated.
The MNJTF spokesperson explained that at least 33 terrorists lost their lives with several weapons recovered during the two-day aerial bombardment.
According to the MNJTF spokesperson, items recovered include two gun trucks, one armoured personnel carrier, two motor cycles, one 120MM motar tube, 12 AK-47 Riffles, and two 60MM motar bombs recovered.
Others are 3,736 rounds of assorted ammunition, one binocular, and two hand grenades recovered.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticised the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government for the security situation of the country, especially the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television on Monday, a chieftain of the party Sanni Umar wondered how the government would continue to insist that the insurgents have been technically defeated amid the recent attacks.
“The issue before the coming of the APC, we are very clear that we were about ending the Boko Haram when the APC came in with their new style which is to mobilise the military department to the borders and yet, it has not even generated any effect,” he said during his appearance on Sunrise Daily.
Umar, a spokesperson for the PDP Presidential Campaign Council added, “Let me say clearly that the strategies of the Boko Haram have continually changed.
“Initially, the Boko Haram (insurgents) are more or less interested in soft targets; now that they realised that the best way to win the war is to attack the military, they have now restrategised and they are attacking our military.”
According to him, the inefficiency of the government led to the attacks in the northeast which claimed that the lives of some civilians and troops deployed in the war against insurgency.
The PDP chieftain said the military is poorly equipped and not adequately trained in modern warfare, adding that they lack the required experience to fight the terrorists.
He revealed some of the approaches used by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan in containing the activities of the insurgents.
“What he (Jonathan) was doing was that for every country where we were buying arms, they must come and operate the arms along with the military,” Umar said.
He explained that this was to ensure that the military was well equipped and informed about how to use the weapons to overcome the insurgents in the theatre of war.
The PDP disclosed that should the PDP regain power at the centre, their task would be to provide the military all the support they need to win the war against insurgency.
“Once your military is being killed, the strength of the sovereignty of the nation is under threat and once the sovereignty of the nation is under threat, people are vulnerable,” Umar warned.
In a swift reaction, a member of the APC Advisory Council, Sulaiman Abba, condemned the comments of the PDP chieftain.
Abba, a former Inspector General of Police (IGP) under former President Jonathan, noted that while it was true that Boko Haram has carried out a series of attacks recently, the situation has improved compared to the previous administration.
He said, “It is not surprising really to say that insurgency has resurged, and the state of insecurity has returned to what it was maybe prior to 2015; let’s not forget that Boko Haram attacks were not just for the Northeast, remember the Northwest was affected; even Abuja was also affected.”
According to the former police boss, for one to recommend bringing machinery to fight the insurgents is like “taking us back to the colonial era”.
He insisted that the nation is blessed with a military that is well trained, stressing that it has been able to cage the terrorist group.
Abba also said the military has done its best in the war against insurgency since 2015, adding that the description of the military as untrained and unequipped was an indication of ignorance.
He stated, “They (military) have caged Boko Haram to restricted or to certain areas, and that is why they are the ones suffering most now because they hardly can get to the soft targets we are talking about.
“So, it means the military has achieved one of its greatest purposes to protect the soft targets.”
Asked whether there has been an achievement in the war against insurgency since the APC came into power, the former IGP said, “Remember in 2015, because of insurgency elections had to be postponed for six months.”
“Are there any talks about postponing elections now? Are there any talks about not holding elections in Borno, or Yobe, or Gombe? So, there is no basis for the comparison,” he said.
At least 65 people were killed in a Taliban-claimed attack on an Afghan intelligence base, security sources said Tuesday, raising the toll substantially from 12 announced previously.
Militants detonated a vehicle packed with explosives at the training facility before gunmen arrived in a car and opened fire.
“We took about 65 bodies out of the rubble yesterday,” Mohammad Sardar Bakhyari, Deputy Head of the provincial council in Wardak province, where the attack occurred on Monday in the latest blow to beleaguered security forces.
A senior security official who spoke on condition of anonymity gave an even higher toll of at least 70 killed.
On Monday provincial officials told AFP just 12 people had been killed in the attack. Figures given by officials to other media ranged from 12 dead to more than 100 killed.
Bakhyari’s announcement came after nearly a day of confusion surrounding the toll.
On Monday provincial officials told AFP just 12 people had been killed in the attack. Figures given by officials to other media ranged from 12 dead to more than 100 killed.
The attack was on a training facility for the NDS, the Afghan intelligence agency, meaning that any toll will likely be difficult to confirm.
It saw militants ram a Humvee filled with explosives into the National Directorate of Security (NDS) base in Maidan Shahr, the capital of Wardak, which lies about 50 kilometres south of Kabul.
The attack caused the roof to partially collapse, images from the scene show.
“Then at least three other attackers in a Toyota car who were following the Humvee entered the compound,” Wardak provincial council member Abdul Wahid Akbarzai told AFP Tuesday.
The attackers were killed quickly, he said, but most of the casualties were caused by the roof collapse.
“It is a big loss,” council head Akhtar Mohammad Tahiri said. “The NDS forces are better trained and equipped than the Afghan police and army soldiers who have been dying in record numbers.”
He added the militants were dressed in uniforms used by Afghan special forces.
The attack comes days after a Taliban suicide bomber targeted the convoy of Logar province’s governor, killing at least seven security guards.
Fights between security forces and Taliban fighters have continued to intensify across the country during the freezing Afghan winter, which traditionally experiences a reduction in combat.
The recent skirmishes come as the Taliban announced a resumption of talks with US officials in Qatar as the two sides discuss a possible peace deal that could pave the way for the insurgents’ participation in the next government.
Washington has not confirmed their claim that the talks are continuing.
US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has headed a flurry of diplomatic activity in recent months seeking to bring the Taliban to the table for talks.
However, the insurgents threatened to suspend the fledgeling process last week.
The Taliban — who have been waging a 17-year war against the Western-backed Afghan government — later claimed responsibility for the assault.
Amnesty International has condemned the attack by Boko Haram terrorists on Rann, a town in Borno State.
The organisation condemned the attack in a statement issued on Friday by its Media Manager in Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, saying that new satellite images showed the devastating aftermath.
According to Amnesty International, more than 9,000 people were displaced from the town which hosts thousands of people already displaced by the Boko Haram crisis.
It also said the attack resulted in large areas being burnt in the west and south of Rann, with more than 100 structures destroyed or heavily damaged by fire – a situation it described as a despicable disdain for life and one that may constitute a war crime.
It, therefore, urged the Nigerian Government to provide immediate humanitarian support for the displaced persons.
“Amnesty International condemns Boko Haram’s despicable disdain for life. This attack clearly targeted civilians and, therefore, may constitute a war crime. The organisation appeals to the Nigerian authorities to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the thousands of people who have been displaced,” Osai Ojigho, the Director Amnesty International Nigeria was quoted as saying.
“What is happening in Rann shows how vulnerable internally displaced persons are in Nigeria and the need to do more to protect them.”
“Since Monday night’s attack people have been fleeing across the border to Cameroon in their thousands and with every day that passes their condition is becoming more and more desperate. Rann is now almost empty as deadly attacks by Boko Haram have made people too afraid to stay,” said Osai Ojigho.
“The authorities on both sides of the border must provide the supplies and safety that these people require. The Cameroonian authorities must also desist from forcing people to return until conditions are safe and they choose to do so voluntarily,” he added.
Air Commodore Daramola, who attached a video of the operation, added that the attack on the insurgents’ camp was conducted on Friday by the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole.
“The surgical air strikes were conducted on the strength of credible intelligence which indicated that remnants of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) on the Lake Chad Islands were hiding out in settlements at the Southern part of the lake, including Daban Masara, and were amassing in some buildings for a meeting,” he said.
Daramola said an air interdiction mission was consequently planned and executed to destroy two out of the green-roofed buildings that were identified as rendezvous points for the insurgents within Daban Masara.
Upon receiving the intelligence, he noted that the ATF dispatched a NAF Alpha Jet aircraft, along with an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform, to attack the two buildings where the terrorists were said to have gathered with bombs.
The Air Commodore added, “Overhead the area of interest, the Alpha Jet successfully released its bombs on the targets in successive strikes, leading to massive destruction of the target buildings as well as the neutralisation of several BHTs.”
In a similar development, he said the recently launched Operation Diran Mikiya recorded some early successes following the death of several armed bandits terrorising communities in Zamfara State.
The Air Force spokesperson revealed that the bandits were killed during air strikes near Mashema Village and at another location in Yanmari area of Zamfara.
He said troops on the ground had come in contact with a group of bandits in Mashema and requested for an air support.
In close coordination with the troops, the combat aircraft engaged the bandits’ location with rockets and cannons, killing several of them in the process while those who fled were neutralised in follow-up attacks.
Troops have killed 16 members of the Boko Haram terrorist group at Mairari, a village located in Monguno Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno State, North-East Nigeria.
The Deputy Director of Public Relations, Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, revealed this in a statement on Sunday.
He said the success was recorded on Friday evening when the soldiers deployed in the Forward Operational Base (FOB) along Mairari in Monguno had an encounter with the insurgents and recovered two gun trucks from them.
“The insurgents in three vehicles, including gun trucks, had infiltrated and attacked the community when troops at the FOB were alerted by locals.
“The troops supported by the Air Task Force swiftly responded to the attack, killing 16 insurgents and capturing two gun trucks abandoned by the insurgents, as they tried escaping having been overwhelmed by the superior firepower from the troops,” Colonel Nwachukwu said.
He added that the gallant troops recovered 163 rounds of Anti-Aircraft Gun Ammunition during the fierce encounter.
The Theatre Command spokesperson, however, disclosed that four civilians and a soldier sustained varying degrees of injury during the gunfight.
He said the injured were promptly evacuated to a military hospital in the state where they have been receiving medical attention.
Nwachukwu noted that the operational base was consequently reinforced with additional troops while fighting patrols were on the trail of the insurgents who fled the attack.
He added that normalcy has been restored in the village and urged the people of Mongonu LGA to go about their normal business without fear.
The Army colonel also asked them to remain vigilant and report any suspicious person or activity to the nearest security agency.
Eight people are feared dead after a suicide bomber believed to be a member of the Boko Haram group, attacked a mosque in Borno State.
A civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) member, Ibrahim Liman, told AFP that the insurgent attacked the mosque located in the Mainari area of Konduga, in the early hours of Monday, where he detonated his explosives.
“The male bomber walked into the mosque at about 5:15 am (0415 GMT) while prayers were on and exploded, killing eight worshippers and injuring five others.
“Seven of the victims died in the mosque while another died on the way to (the Borno State capital) Maiduguri,” he said.
Suicide bombings against “soft” civilian targets such as mosques, markets and bus stations are the hallmark of the terrorist group led by Abubakar Shekau.
Many of the bombers used are young women and girls. However, Liman said the latest attack appeared to be carried out by a man in his early 20s.
Umar Goni, who lives in Konduga, said he was on his way to the mosque when the blast occurred and he helped to rescue victims with members of the civilian volunteer force.
“We pulled out seven dead bodies and six injured worshippers. One of the six injured died on the way to hospital.
“The bomber was disguised as a worshipper,” he said, adding: “There was no way anybody could have known his mission.”
Last week, at least six traders were killed when a convoy of lorries under military escort were ambushed in Borno State near the border with Cameroon.
There have also been a number of attacks on military convoys and bases in Borno and neighbouring Yobe state, with undisclosed casualties.
Soldiers and civilians have also been targeted in separate attacks in neighbouring Chad and Niger.