- As 77 terrorists surrendered
Nigerian Army has confirmed that its troops on counterterrorism operations in North-East have killed five Boko Haram terrorists, arrest a terrorists’ spy who hails from Niger Republic, and rescued as much as 236 captives from the terrorists.
Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman said in a statement that during an encounter at Moutu specifically, a soldier sustained an injury on the forehead while five Boko Haram terrorists were killed by the troops, and a few others were suspected to have escaped with gunshot wounds, even as the troops recovered three locally made guns.
Col. Usman revealed that troops of 7 Division Garrison arrested the 28-year-old suspected Boko Haram spy, Musa Mallam Aman, around the garrison headquarters complex in Maiduguri metropolis.
He said preliminary investigation confirmed that he hailed from Maradhi village in Niger Republic, adding that he was not alone as there were Boko Haram spies in Maiduguri.
“While efforts have been intensified to track and arrest his other accomplices, Musa has since been handed over to Joint Interrogation Committee, JIC,” Usman revealed.
The statement said the troops of 81 Battalion and 251 Task Force Battalion, 25 Task Force Brigade, on May 30 received 79 persons who claimed to have been held captive by Boko Haram terrorists at Ngwalimiri village, but escaped.
“They comprised 12 men, 24 women, 31 children and 12 infants. All of them are undergoing preliminary investigation and screening to determine their status before onward movement to Internally Displaced Persons camp for rehabilitation.”
Similarly, the advancing troops linked up with their counterparts of 25 Task Force Brigade at Gombori village and rescued 157 persons escaping from Boko Haram captivity.
“The rescued persons comprised 47 women, 91 children, 19 men. They are currently undergoing preliminary investigation and thorough screening to also determine their status.
“In a related development, 77 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered themselves to troops of 122 Task Force Battalion. They comprised 17 men, 16 women, 16 male children and 28 female children. The surrendered terrorists have been moved to Yamteke by combined team of 26 Task Force Brigade for preliminary investigation and screening.
“Troops have also arrested a deserter soldier, 03NA/53/3098 Corporal Musa Titima of 117 Task Force Battalion, attached to 114 Task Force Battalion, who absconded from duty while on Operation CRACKDOWN at Bitta. The soldier was also allegedly involved in a fracas with Mr Salisu Ngatha at Kabang Ward on 30th May 2016 that led to the death of the civilian. The soldier has been moved to the Brigade headquarters for proper investigation and other disciplinary process,” Musa said.
According to the army spokesman, “In furtherance of the efforts to keep Bitta-Damboa road open and secure to commuters, troops of 28 Task Force Brigade have cleared Bulajani, Mulgwo and Muotu villages of remnants of Boko Haram elements.
“Troops of 22 Brigade Garrison and their Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, counterparts in Dikwa have also embarked on routine and fighting patrols to maintain security on construction and rehabilitation works of public buildings and infrastructure that would facilitate return of public officials and people back to their ancestral homes.
“In addition, the troops have been carrying out clearance operations and patrols to keep Maiduguri-Mafa-Dikwa-Gomboru Ngala road open and secure.
“The troops of 26 Task Force Brigade on their part have intensified patrols and clearance operations in their area of responsibility. It was in that process that they discovered an Unexploded Object, UXO and its casing at Hausari Street Gada Mayo yesterday afternoon.
“Similarly, another patrol team of the Brigade yesterday successfully cleared Boko Haram terrorists’ hideouts along Gwoza-Kwatara-Kasa-Uvaha hills. The troops also rescued four men, two women and five children that fled Boko Haram terrorists’ location at Uvaha as a result of the formation’s offensive against the terrorists, the statement said.
It added that, “Following tip off by well meaning Nigerians, troops of 7 Division Garrison, conducted clearance patrol at the following villages; Abachari, Asanari, Mediari, Toluwari, Chuwnari, Gaya, Zarumari, Alanari, Shuwari, Ngadaya, Chempo, Samaa, Matari, Utoro and Kayamla in Jere and Konduga Local Government Areas of Borno State on 31st May 2016.
“During the patrol, troops came in contact with members of Boko Haram terrorists group at Samaa village, killing a number of them and recovered three motorcycles, 143 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, two bicycles, two bags of mango, one tricycle tyre pump, two water bottles and pellets for Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, making.”
According to Col. Usman, the morale of troops in the theatre of operations remains very high, even as he warned that the public, especially in Borno State, should be security conscious and cooperate with the security agencies.