By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja – The Nigerian Army has announced that 16 member of Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) have surrendered to the superior fire power of its troops in the North East.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu IIliyas, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, disclosed that several other terrorists were killed in the operations.
Illiyas said that the successes recorded by the troops was a result of intense raids and bombardment of identified insurgents’ hideouts in the past weeks.
He added that the period equally witnessed the interception and arrest of several Boko Haram Logistics Suppliers and informants by the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
“On Nov.1, 16 insurgents along with 8 of their spouses who could no longer bear the heat from the onslaught against them surrendered to the relentless troops of Sector 1, Multinational Joint Task Force at Fotokol.
“Subsequently, the surrendered insurgents were later handed over to troops of 3 Battalion (Main) at Gamboru Ngala, a border town North East of Borno.
“During preliminary interrogation and profiling, they confessed to have actively participated in attacks conducted against both military and civilian targets at various times.
“It was further revealed that 14 of them all belonged to ISWAP led by Al – Barnawi while two others, Hassan Kawu and Babagana Bukar Adijabe belonged to Boko Haram (Abubakar Shekau Faction).
”The 14 are; Ibrahim Bunu, Abba Sale, Baba Lamba Alhaji, Bukar Isa, Bukar Ali, Rawa Abba Gana, Mustapha Abatcha, Umar Abubakar, Hassan Bukar, Malam Abatcha Ali, Abba Umar Abatcha, Hussaini Babagana, Idris Mohammed and Umar Abba Bayoma.
“The repentant insurgents however, regretted their participation in the heinous crimes they committed against humanity and are now calling on their former colleagues to retrace their steps and also surrender to troops before it is too late,” he said.
Illiyas disclosed that troops deployed at Gajigana in Magumeri local government area intercepted some Boko Haram terrorists in the early hours of Nov. 5.
According to him, the vigilant troops blocked and neutralised three of the Boko Haram criminals while several others escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds.
“Unfortunately, one soldier paid the supreme price while 2 others were wounded in action.
“The wounded soldiers are currently responding to treatment in a military medical facility.
“Additionally, the troops captured two AK47 Rifles, one Rocket Propelled Gun 7 (RPG 7), 5 AK 47 magazines, 47 Rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and some quantities of hard drugs.
“In a related incident, another Boko Haram criminal met his waterloo on Nov. 4 while attempting to cross into the Sambisa Forest at Bama-Banki Road Junction when troops sighted and neutralized him.
“Similarly, troops of 195 Battalion, while on clearance patrol along Gubio Road on Nov. 4, recovered a kit bag containing 480 Rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition suspected to have been abandoned by escaping terrorists,” he said.
The media coordinator further disclosed that nine Boko Haram insurgents were neutralised by troops while others escaped with gunshot wounds on Nov. 6 at Muchima in Damboa local government area.
He added that one insurgent Gun Truck was destroyed, four AK47 Rifles and a cache of ammunition were recovered.
Illiyas said that troops of Sector 2 deployed at Damaturu, Yobe State dealt a decisive blow to the insurgents’ attempt to infiltrate the town on Nov. 7.
He added that the attempted infiltration was thwarted by the combined efforts of ground troops, artillery bombardment and precision air strikes by the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
“The encounter led to the decimation of a number of the insurgents in addition to the destruction of one Boko Haram Gun Truck.
“Unfortunately, one officer paid the supreme price during the encounter.
“Furthermore, during their exploitation, troops discovered and safely detonated two unexploded ordnance materials planted by the insurgents,” he said.