By Augustine Osayande, PhD
Nigerian troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have killed 75 Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters in 17 encounters with the terrorists group across the North-east Theater of operation.
Confirming the report on Sunday, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major-General, John Enenche, said assorted arms and large cache of munitions including one anti-aircraft gun, 13 AK-47 rifles, one sniper rifle, 21 locally-made guns, 2 dane guns and one rocket propelled gun were also captured in the encounters.
Enenche further said that three hand grenades, five rocket propelled gun bombs, 205 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition, 1,018 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and two Boko Haram criminals’ flags were also recovered in the process.
He also revealed that 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.
He said one officer, however, paid the supreme price while one soldier was wounded in action.
Enenche said the wounded personnel has since been evacuated to a military medical facility where he is recuperating.
He further stated that 4 BHT and 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 Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
Enenche said the troops also 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 Local Government Area of Borno State.
He said Boko Haram criminals, Mohammed Babagana, Modu Jugudun and Alhaji Usman surrendered to troops of Delta Company at Strong Response Area Pulka in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State while Mustapha Kori surrendered to troops of Army Super Camp 11 Gamboru in Ngala LGA of Borno State during the period under review.
The Coordinator Defence Media Operations noted that the troops rescued 35 captives (18 women, 16 children and one adult male) from the BHTs/ ISWAP criminals.
He said 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.
Enenche said the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai commended the troops for the resilience and patriotism they continue to demonstrate in crushing the remnants of BHTs/ISWAP criminals.
He said the COAS urges them to maintain the tempo against the criminals as they approach the end of insurgency in our country.
Enenche said 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.
He said 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.