By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja – The Nigerian Army says its troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD), have continued to pounce on Boko Haram and Islamic State for West Africa (ISWAP) terrorists in the North East.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, in a statement on Sunday, said that some terrorists’ informants were recently arrested.
Iliyasu disclosed that the troops of 159 Battalion deployed at Geidam Local Government Area of Yobe State had an encounter with the terrorists on Jan. 19 and neutralised two or the criminals.
He said that several of the insurgents were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds while two AK-47 rifles, five magazines and 45 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition were recovered.
The spokesperson also disclosed that the Joint Tactical Team deployed to Borno and Yobe States apprehended a Boko Haram female recruiter (Zainab Usman) at Modu Sulemri area of Abujan Talakawa Ward of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council.
He added that preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is a wife of Alai Usman, a high profile Islamic State West Africa Province logistics supplier.
According to him, the suspect is believed to be in contact with other high profile Boko Haram/ISWAP commanders, helping them to recruit young fighters.
“Also, on Jan. 2020, troops of 212 Battalion deployed in Auno, Kaga LGA of Borno State in conjunction with elements of Civilian Joint Task Force arrested one Mallam Ahmed Yakuba, a high profile Islamic State West Africa Province informant at a location south of Auno Village.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was born in Niger Republic, grew up in Sudan and has been in Nigeria for the past 15 years.
“However, during interrogation, the suspect confessed to being a spy for the Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals on a mission to spy on troops’ location in Auno and other locations along the Maiduguri – Damaturu road.
“In another development, on 22 January 2020, troops of 212 Battalion deployed at Gajigana in Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno arrested a Boko Haram terrorist, Bukar Sanda in Gajigana Village.
“During preliminary interrogation, the suspect confessed to having left the Village two years ago and joined ISWAP insurgent group where he was trained on weapon handling.
“He further confessed to have returned to the community in order to spy on troops’ location,” he said.
Iliyasu further disclosed that the troops of 21 Special Armoured Brigade deployed at Bama in Borno, in conjunction with elements of Cameroonian Defence Forces and Civilian JTF under Operation RUFE KOFA, successfully raided terrorists’ hideouts at Abbaram, Nguzuwa 1&2 and Cina on Jan. 20.
He added that the operation led to the killing of five terrorists and recovery of one motorcycle, two mobile phones, two Dane guns and two wooden guns.
Other items recovered according to him are, eight refilled rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, one AK 47 Rifle magazine and two locally fabricated magazines.
“Furthermore, two women and four children hostages were rescued.
“The rescued children were instantly administered with the Oral Polio Vaccine by the Army Medical Team in line with the Buratai Intervention Initiative,” he said.
Iliyasu further disclosed that troops also made partial contact with some terrorists at Shuwarin in Bama Local Government Area of Borno and neutralised one of them.
He added items such as one locally made pistol, one wooden AK47 rifle and one Boko Haram Terrorists’ flag were recovered from the fleeing terrorists.
According to him, all Boko Haram structures within the enclave including food items, a makeshift market, thatched houses and locally made irrigation pumps, were destroyed.
“Troops of 121 Battalion deployed at Pulka in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno, successfully cleared an ambush laid by Boko Haram criminals on Jan. 18 at Warabe, Borno.
“In the aftermath of the encounter, two Boko Haram criminals were neutralised while several others fled with gunshot wounds under the cloak of darkness.
“The troops also captured two AK47 rifles and three refilled rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition among other items.
Iliyasu stated that the troops of Operation MESA in Kaduna, Sokoto and Niger states also recorded huge successes in the fight against bandits and kidnapper in the last few day.
He said that the combined troops of 2 Battalion, Forward Operating Bases at Kushaka, Birnin Gwari and Pandogari in Kaduna and Niger States unleashed their superior firepower on bandits leading the death of them.
According to him, items recovered are one AK 47 Rifle, three AK 47 Rifle magazines, 10 round of 7.62mm Special ammunition, two mobile phones and one motorcycle.
“Similarly, on Jan. 22, troops of 8 Division responded to a distress call about kidnappers holding some victims within the fringes of Zugu forest in Kebbe LGA of Sokoto State.
“Troops swiftly mobilized to the area. After a brief fire fight, the kidnappers abandoned the 2 kidnapped victims and fled.
“The rescued victims have since been reunited with their families.
“On Jan. 21, troops of 31 Artillery Brigade under Operation MESA while on clearance operations had meeting engagement with bandits at Dogon Gona in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
“The bandits fled due to the superior firepower of the troops. Nevertheless, troops rescued the five kidnapped victims, administered them with First Aid after which they were released to reunite with their families.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, wishes to reassure the public of the Nigerian Armys’ unwavering commitment to ensuring adequate security and enabling environment for a peaceful and prosperous nation,” he added.