By Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja
Troops of Nigerian Military prosecuting the war against insurgency in the North East theatre have successfully neutralized 75 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists after several deadly confrontations in June just as more than 35 women and children held captive by the terrorists were rescued, the Military disclosed on Sunday.
Also, five Boko Haram criminals and a spy were arrested while seven other criminals including the wives of a local Boko Haram Commander in Adamawa state surrendered.
One Army officer was killed, a soldier was injured in action and several sophisticated weaponry and gun trucks including GPMGs, AA Guns, AK 47 rifles and logistics equipment were captured during the encounters
Making this known in Abuja, Major General John Enenche, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations said, “It is evident from recent encounters with Boko Haram/ISWAP that the resilience of the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole is being sustained across the North-East Theater of operation resulting to high BHT/ISWAP casualties on both men and equipment as well as capture or surrendering of some of their fighters.
“In their resolve to end BHT/ISWAP menace in the North-East region, between 1 – 30 June 2020, the gallant troops of Operation Lafiya Dole had a total of 17 encounters with the marauding criminals, neutralizing 75 of them in the process.
“The encounters also led to the capture of assorted arms and large cache of ammunition including one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 13 AK 47 Rifles, one Sniper Rifle, 21 locally made guns, 2 Dane guns and one Rocket Propelled Gun.
“Others include 3 Hand Grenades, 5 Rocket Propelled Gun bombs, 205 rounds of Anti-Aircraft ammunition, 1018 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition.
“Also captured were 2 Boko Haram criminals’ flags.
“In the same vein, one Gun Truck, one Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device, one Toyota Starlet car and several makeshift structures belonging to the terrorists were destroyed by the valiant troops within the period.
“Regrettably, one officer paid the supreme price while one soldier was wounded in action.
“The wounded personnel has since been evacuated to a military medical facility where he is recuperating.
“Equally, 4 BHT/ISWAP criminals including 2 women namely Aishatu Manye and Kelune Mate were captured and later identified to be the wives of the local Boko Haram commander at Gajingi in Madagali LGA of Adamawa State.
“Also, the troops arrested one Boko Haram spy named Kawalu during a Jumaat prayer at Michika Central Mosque and one Boko Haram fighter captured in the aftermath of an encounter at Miyanti general area in Bama LGA of Borno State.
“The period under review also witnessed 4 surrenders by Boko Haram criminals.
“The trio of Mohammed Babagana, Modu Jugudun and Alhaji Usman surrendered to troops of Delta Company at Strong Response Area Pulka in Gwoza LGA of Borno State while one Mustapha Kori surrendered to troops of Army Super Camp 11 Gamboru in Ngala LGA of Borno State.
“It is equally heart-warming to note that, during the period, troops rescued 35 captives from the captivity of BHTs/ ISWAP criminals.
“Amongst those rescued are 18 women, 16 children and one adult male.
“The rescued children were promptly administered with Polio vaccine in line with the Buratai Intervention Initiative while the women were administered with First Aid as required.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai commends the troops for the resilience and patriotism they continue to demonstrate in crushing the remnants of BHTs/ISWAP criminals.
“He also urges them to maintain the tempo against the criminals as we approach the end of insurgency in our country.
“In a similar vein, the Military High Command encourages the troops of Lafiya Dole to remain resolute in curtailing the activities of terrorists and their collaborators in the North-East zone of the country.
“The High Command equally appreciates Nigerians for their support and urges them to continue providing timely information to troops on activities of BHTs/ISWAP collaborators in their respective localities for prompt and effective action.”