Defence Headquarters, DHQ, Abuja has denied media reports that over 150 people from Kukuwa-Gari village were shot dead by Boko Haram gunmen in Yobe State while many others fleeing from the gunmen got drowned in Yobe River.
The DHQ said the story is not true, utterly scurrilous and very misleading.
According to a statement by the Acting Director, Defence Information, Col. Rabe Abubakar, “The truth of the matter is that the military got an intelligence report concerning a planned attack by Boko Haram on Kukuwa-Gari village in Yobe State.”
Col. Abubakar said, following the tip-off, troops and civilian JTF laid ambush between Kukuwatashi and Kukuwa-Gari villages. “The insurgents ran into them and a gun-battle ensued in which four Boko Haram members and one civilian JTF lost their lives. At the end of the encounter, 2 x AK 47 rifles and 2 x motorcycles used by the Boko Haram terrorists were recovered from them.
“The Armed Forces therefore implore the media to always seek clarification of stories before going to press as most of these unsubstantiated reports tend to embolden or encourage the terrorists to believe they are invincible, thus instilling perpetual fear in the minds of the citizens, especially those in the contested areas of the North East.
“The military is doing all within its power to protect lives and property of Nigerians in any part of the country and thus, solicits cooperation and understanding of the media to be partners in progress in this noble task,” he stated.
Similarly, the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said the media reports alleging the killing and drowning of 150 people in Kukuwa-Gari, Gujiba local government area of Yobe, “cannot be substantiated’’.
Usman assured Nigerians of the Army’s commitment in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists and ensuring security for law-abiding citizens in the affected areas.
According to the statement, troops have arrested two fleeing key members of the terrorist group with two pick up vehicles in Geidam, Yobe.
It said those arrested were currently being interrogated by the authorities.
Usman also said that there were reports and distressed calls about suspected movements and planned attacks by the Boko Haram terrorists around Damasak general area.
He, however, stated that the Nigerian Air Force had conducted air surveillance and armed reconnaissance in the area, while the Nigerian Army troops had also been reinforced.
In another press statement, Col. Usman said the Nigerian Army troops fighting Boko Haram in North-East region have killed scores of terrorists who were fleeing Sambisa forest.
According to the statement issued yesterday in Abuja, the troops of the 26 Task Force Brigade in Gwoza, Borno State, killed the terrorists last Tuesday evening following continued aerial bombardment by the Nigerian Air Force.
The army spokesman said the troops also destroyed a lot of weapons used by the insurgents.
Part of the statement reads, “The fleeing terrorists in seven pick-up vans and some motorcycles mounted with assorted weapons such as Rocket Propelled Grenades and Anti-Aircraft Guns were decisively dealt with, resulting in death of quite a number of them.
“The troops also destroyed their vehicles, weapons and motorcycles. They also recovered a vehicle, one motorcycle and two AK47 riffles and large quantities of 7.62mm NATO and 12.7mm ammunitions.”
Col. Usman assured that the troops had intensified their patrols and offensive actions against terrorists in the area.

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