The Nigerian Army has announced further successes in the counter-insurgency operations it is leading in the Northeastern part of the country. A statement signed by Brigadier-General Sani Kukasheka Usman, Director of Army Public Relations, said the successes came via a range of activities carried about by Operation Lafiya Dole, codename for the counter-insurgency initiative.
These activities, conceived to sustain the tempo of the clearance of Boko Haram remnants, include ambushes, raids as well as cordon and search operations.
On Thursday, disclosed the Army spokesman, troops of the 159 Battalion Artillery Detachment carried out heavy bombardment of Tula Udah Forest and neutralized Boko Haram terrorists hiding there. The bombardment, he said, was sequel to receipt of information about the presence of terrorists at the location.
Army troops also carried out a cordon and search operation at Gombe International Hotel, Gombe State, which the Army was informed had guests that were Boko Haram terrorists from Chad and Niger. However, noted the Army spokesman, nothing incriminating was found at the hotel.
Similarly, troops of 22 Brigade Garrison conducted clearance operation at Gama and Muyile villages, along Dikwa-Gulumba Road, which resulted in the neutralization of two fleeing Boko Haram terrorists, from whom weapons and food items meant for Internally Displaced Persons were recovered.
Equally in action were troops of the112 Task Force Battalion, which carried out clearance operations at Farta, Maaza and Chana villages, where they rescued two men, eight women and five children held hostage by fleeing terrorists.
Men of the 22 Brigade Garrison also intercepted 474 persons, comprising of 177 women, 20 men, 127 young boys and 150 young girls, who were moving from Muliye and Masa to Dikwa.
“During security checks and screening, five persons among them were confirmed to be fleeing Boko Haram terrorists. The rest were handed over as Internally Displaced Persons to the Coordinator of Dikwa Internally Displaced Persons Camp,” said Brigadier-General Usman.
In addition, troops of 82 Battalion handed over eight women and eight children to the Pulka Internally Displaced Persons Camp, while a suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Alhaji Mustpha Bulama, was arrested by troops of 7 Division Garrison on Monday. Bulama was picked up at his residence at Musari, along Baga Road, Maiduguri.
The suspect, an indigene of Magumeri, was said to be an active Boko Haram collaborator.
Equally arrested were two suspected fraudsters, Ibrahim Mustapha and Hassan Mohammed. They were nabbed with the assistance of members of the Civilian Joint Task Force at Bulabulin General Area of Maiduguri. According to the Army spokesman, the suspects, who have been handed to the police, were caught selling fake food cards to unwary locals in the vicinity at the rate of N400 per card.
At Balanga and Kindalkura villages, troops of the 145 Battalion of the 8 Task Force Division recovered a Toyota pick-up van snatched by Boko Haram terrorists and another vehicle snatched at a wedding ceremony.
On Tuesday, one Bulama Shuwa Kyari, a conductor on a plank-bearing truck (registration number, XA 538 MAR), which was driven by one Kaka Bulu Abba, was intercepted by troops at a checkpoint on the way to Damasak. Recovered from the truck were 4 parcels containing a substance suspected to be Indian hemp.
Also on Tuesday, troops met a heavy presence of terrorists on the way to Sa’ada village. The troops engaged them, destroying their camps at Gwari and Ganye villages before withdrawing to Forward Operation Base at Kerenoa.
However, one soldier was killed, while two others remain missing in action. Also, an officer and 13 soldiers were wounded, but are in stable condition.
“The wounded are in stable condition, while concerted effort is ongoing to recover the two missing in action soldiers,” explained the Army spokesman.
In order to enhance professionalism of its men, the 22 Brigade, added Brigadier-General Usman, conducted a workshop on the protection of civilians during conflicts. In attendance were Senior Non-Commission Officers (SNCOs) of the formation in Dikwa.