- Intensify fight with insurgents in Sambisa Forest Over nine terrorists killed, six soldiers injured
By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri and Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Nigerian troops have again discovered another Boko Haram bomb factory in a Borno State town with which they unleash their acts of terror in the North-east region.
The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, who disclosed this yesterday, said the troops of 3 Battalion, 22 Brigade of Operation Lafiya Dole, had on Friday, succeeded in bursting a secret Boko Haram terrorists’ Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) making-factory in Ngala town, in Gambory Ngala Local Government Area.
Usman recalled that “despite their defeat, the terrorists continued to attack innocent citizens, military and soft targets through vehicular and human borne IEDs.
“Despite the ongoing clearance of the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists, they persistently hid the IED manufacturing factories location.
“Thanks to the efficient intelligence and resilience of our troops. It was based on this that we got credible and timely information that made the troops to swoop on one of such factories in Ngala town and destroyed it as well as killed some of the Boko Haram terrorists,” he stressed.
In addition, he said the troops recovered 20 gas cylinders of various sizes prepared and ready for explosive insertion, primers, gun powder, electric wires and tape recorders, among other items.
In a related development, Usman said the troops of 3 Battalion 22 Brigade, at the weekend, carried out a successful pre-emptive strike to foil a planned terrorists attack on the military and innocent civilians around Wunbi in Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno State.
According to him, the pre-emptive attack was carried out after information was received about the devilish intention and location of the terrorists.
“While on a patrol to foil the attack troops encountered the terrorists at Tatakura village 20km South West of Wumbi. There was heavy exchange of gun fire at the end of which nine Boko Haram terrorists were killed,” he stated.
The army spokesman said the troops captured three AK-47 rifles, a Fabrique Nationale rifle, General Purpose Machine gun, a 60mm Mortar Tube, Rocket Propelled Grenade 7 (RPG 7) Tube, G3-Machine gun and seven Fabrique Nationale Magazines.
He listed other recovered items to include 108 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, Energa grenade, an RPG 7 bomb as well as three 60mm mortar bombs and two motor cycles.
Unfortunately, he said, six of our troops sustained gunshot wounds and have been evacuated for treatment.
Usman however stated that the wounded are all in stable condition and responding to treatment.
He also urged the “citizens to always provide any useful information they have about suspected persons to the security agencies.”
In the same vein, the DAPR promised that the military would continuously intensify clearance operations of the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east under the auspices of Operation Lafiya Dole
He stated that the troops of 231and 331 Battalions and elements of Armed Forces Special Forces Battalion, accompanied by some vigilantes, conducted a clearance operation at Doksa village aimed at clearing the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists hiding in the area.
According to Usman, the team cleared all the routes in the general area as well as suspected hideouts of the Boko Haram terrorists before arriving and clearing the terrorists out of their enclaves in Doksa 1, 2, and 3, as well as Sabon Garin Doksa.
He said the military also dominated the area with heavy artillery shelling against other registered locations of Boko Haram terrorists at Buga Dam, Golgore and Lariski villages.
“The Boko Haram casualties are enormous and troops have also intensified shelling other hideouts.”
“The troops also recovered a pick up van, several motorcycles, several bicycles as well as drugs, foodstuff and books.
“They also recovered three tyres of a stolen military Hilux vehicle which was stolen on December 19, 2015. Other items recovered include a laptop computer, two mini laptop computers, four Dane guns, blood pressure measurement apparatus, three rifle magazines, large quantity of ammunition of various calibres, a Nokia mobile phone and SIM cards,” he said.
Usman added that the troops also rescued four women and two children.
“It is heart-warming to inform the public that troops in various parts of the theatre of operation Lafiya Dole are doing well and their morale remain very high,” he promised.
Meanwhile, the military yesterday revealed that it was presently engaging the insurgents in a fight to finish within the Sambisa Forest stronghold.
The military also revealed that there are few areas where the insurgents hold sway in troubled Borno State.
Speaking at a press briefing in Maiduguri, the head of the counter-insurgency operation in the North-east (the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole), Major General Lucky Irabor, said: “We are inside Sambisa Forest conducting operation as I speak to you. The troop is led by the acting Commander of 7 Division.”
He however did not give details of the operation within the stronghold of the insurgents.
The military commander however admitted that few areas within Borno State have not been recaptured from the insurgents.
He said the fringes of Sambisa Forest were still held by the insurgents, who equally have bases in part of Abadam and Mobbar Local Governments Area.
Irabor who said both Adamawa and Yobe States have been totally liberated from the insurgents, revealed that most parts of Borno State cannot be transversed as they have been cleared of Boko Haram.
Responding to questions from journalists, the army general said the Nigerian troops were no more facing any threat from the insurgents, noting that the military is the domineering force kept recording victories daily against the insurgents, who according to him are fleeing.
He said: “I do not see any threat ending this war, we are the one after them for they are fleeing. But we definitely have challenges but I see them as opportunities.”
On some of the victories recorded in recent times, Irabor said: “Following a tip-off, troops intercepted four female suicide bombers approaching from Sambisa in the general area of Jimini-Bolari village. Two unexplored IEDs on the suicide bombers were safely detonated by own EOD team. During the incident, two women and a baby from Ngawafete village were arrested after the blast as they were seen approaching Madiyari village.
“Similarly, on April 29, 2016, our troops busted a Boko Haram terrorist base at Yerwa where rustled cattle are held. The troops also raided Kaluketu and the self styled town of Abuja which is a Boko Haram terrorist logistics exchange points. At the end of the operation four terrorists were killed, two AK 47 rifles with 29 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, one Dane gun, bow and arrows among others were captured. In the same operation two laptops computers and six mobile phones were also recovered, including a truck and five motorcycles.”
Irabor also disclosed that on April 30, 2016, a fighting patrol was carried out by troops around Wumbi in Kala Balge Local Government Area with troops encountering terrorists at Tatakura village, 20 kilometres south-west of Wumbi which resulted in death of nine terrorists but injuries to five soldiers.
He said during the operation, two motor cycles were seized and other items recovered include: three AK 47 rifles, a FN rifle, a GPMG, a RPG 7 bomb and 60mm mortar bombs.