By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigerian Army says troops in the North East have cleared more Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by fleeing Boko Haram terrorists on some routes in Borno and Yobe states.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, said that troops of 27 Task Force Brigade Garrison and Explosive Ordnance Devices (EOD) Team safely detonated three large IEDs on the Buni Gari-Kamuya Road, linking Borno and Yobe States.
He said that the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE also raided a Boko Haram camp at Kerenoa, Marte Local Government Area of Borno .
According to him, the visibly shocked insurgents fled their hideout on sighting the robust advancing troops, abandoning one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) as they fled.
“In another development, following credible information of suspected cult activities, troops of Operation MESA in Plateau State arrested four suspected cultists at Jos University Teaching Hospital in Jos.
“Same troops also raided a suspected drug peddlers’ hideout at Richa Village in Bokkos Local government area of Plateau.
“They arrested one Joe Agai, a notorious drug peddler, with a large quantity of substance believed to be Cannabis Sativa, a locally fabricated pistol and one live cartridge.
“Another notorious drug dealer, Benjamin Jumbo was arrested by troops of 146 Battalion (Main) in Bonny Island, Rivers State with a 50 Kg sack containing substance believed to be Cannabis Sativa,” he said.
Iliyasu also said that an alleged notorious Tarok militia gang leader, Shehu Jatau and five of his accomplices were also arrested in a hotel in Abuja.
He added that preliminary investigation had revealed that the suspects were very active in the Plateau crisis that led to loss of lives and destruction of properties worth billions of naira.
According to him, the criminal gang resorted to kidnapping, extortion and unleashing unprecedented carnage on innocent residents after the return of peace to Plateau.
“Furthermore, troops of 2 Battalion, while on a routine patrol between Polewire and Gayam Villages in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, rescued seven kidnapped victims from a group of bandits on Oct. 29.
“On sighting the approaching troops, the bandits abandoned their victims and escaped into the nearby forest.
“The rescued victims, who were initially travelling from Pandogari in Niger State to Kano, were escorted out of the area and continued with their journey.
“Similarly, troops of 8 Division, while conducting clearance operation at Mai Yashi Village of Isah LGA of Sokoto State, rescued two kidnapped victims namely Shamsudeen Bisharawa and Sadiq Mustapha from their abductors,” he said.
Iliyasu further disclosed that troops of 31 Artillery Brigade encountered a group of bandits that had been terrorising Ungwan Shai community in Wushishi Local Government Area of Niger State.
He said that one of the bandits was killed in the shootout while others were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds.
“In a related development, troops of 3 Brigade deployed at Falgore in Kano State, conducted a successful operation that led to the arrest of one of the most wanted kidnappers within the area, Umaru Abubakar Kaduwa, operating along the Kano – Kaduna Highway.
“In the Niger Delta region, troops continue to frustrate the activities of economic saboteurs by scaling up the tempo of operations against illegal oil bunkering, illegal oil refining and oil theft.
“Between Oct. 28 and 31, the unrelenting troops arrested 18 suspects, destroyed three Illegal oil refining camps, 35 Cotonuo boats, three large storage reservoirs, seven metal storage tanks and impounded 10 vehicles including two trucks involved in the illicit act,” he added.