theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Leo Irabor, on Thursday gave an update on the war against Boko Haram.
He said in spite of the regrettable occurrence of January 17 which saw accidental bombing of civilians and medical workers, troops had continued to gain traction by recording successes in operational engagements.
Reading out his address, he said in the last two weeks, mop-up operations were conducted as follows:
“(1) As part of the operations to dominate Sambisa Forest, on 14 Jan 17 at about 0900hrs, troops recovered 50 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and one AK47 rifle. Items recovered include a GPMG, 2,269 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 2 RPG bombs and 528 rounds of 7.62mm special. Additionally, recovered and destroyed several BHT vehicles, motorcycles, foodstuff, solar panels and mattresses. A total of 5 BHT were killed in action, including 2 suicide bombers.
“(2) On 23 Jan 17 at about 0900hrs, own troops deployed at DIKWA conducted clearance patrol to SINABAYA and MASKITE village. The patrol cleared SINABAYA village and encountered BHT resistance towards MASKITE village. During the operation, 9 BHT were killed and some items were captured. The items captured include 6 dane guns, a GPMG, 4 mobile handsets, a motorcycle with BHT flag mounted and 2 wrist watches. MASKITE village was combed and cleared where 9 civilians held captives were rescued.
“(3) On 16 Jan 17 at about 1530hrs, our troops deployed at MONGUNO received information of BHT activities at MARARIA village along MONGUNO – MARTE road. The troops in conjunction with CJTF immediately trailed and encountered some BHT in the village. After an encounter, a BHT member was killed in action while 2 AK47 rifles, 2 AK47 magazines with 8 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition were recovered.
“(4) On 18 Jan 17 at about 0530hrs, own troops conducted fighting patrol to MUSARA, GUMNARI, NAIRA and ANGAYINA villages. Troops intercepted 8 men conveying items suspected to be for BHT. The suspects were arrested and searched. During the search, one suspect was found with 2 letters with one of the letters requesting for the supply of 4 AA guns by BHT. Other items in their possession included many torch lights, 4 handsets, large quantities of slippers, clothes, drugs, batteries and the sum of N341,000.00 only.
“(5) On 24 Jan 17 at about 0900hrs, own troops in conjunction with CJTF and vigilantes conducted operations to MASA along DIKWA – GULUMBA GANA road. The troops cleared MIJIGITE and GWANGHA villages and later encountered BHT at AJIRI village. The troops came in contact and 2 BHT members were killed in action. The equipment captured include a bandolier, a camouflage trouser, a Tecno handset and a BHT flag. The troops combed and cleared AJIRI village where 85 civilians held captives were rescued. Also, on 26 Jan 17 at about 1130hrs, own troops supported by the CDF conducted operations to GULUMBA GANA. Three BHT were killed in action while one AK47 rifle, one FN rifle and a gun truck mounted with Anti Aircraft gun were captured.
“(6) Between 17 – 24 Jan 17, troops conducted long range patrol in pursuit of fleeing BHT along Yale axis. Several recoveries were made including rescue of hostages. Highlights are as shown.
“(7) On 27 Jan 17 at about 0728hrs, our gallant troops conducted mop up operations at GULUMBA – GANA for 3hrs 10mins. The troops recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 3 rounds of 7.62mm special, detonator-33 electrical cord, 3 plastic pressure plates, 2 Shilka empty cases primed with simple charge. Other items discovered were IED making materials and 3 prepared IEDs. All items were destroyed in situ.
“(8) Yesterday, troops trailed fleeing BHT to Dusla and Buk. Several BHT were killed. Assorted sophisticated weapons including Shilka Gun, 9 AK Rifles, 3 FN Rifles, one tube, one Gun truck mounted with AA Gun, 2 Hilux vehicles, 2 RPG tube and one LMG amongst others.
Irabor further gave summary of those arrested
“A total of 3,332 civilians were arrested as Boko Haram suspects while 5 BHT members surrendered to our troops during our operations conducted between 11 Jan – 1 Feb 17.
“Also, a total of 26 foreigners were arrested comprising 17 Chadians and 9 Nigeriens.”