• As troops repel Boko Haram attacks inside Sambisa
• 12 soldiers, 4 civilian JTF wounded, terrorists killed
Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Nigerian troops have arrested another terrorist kingpin, Sulaiman Umaru, who is on the list of 100 Boko Haram terrorists earlier declared wanted by the Federal Government.
The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, said the troops of 143 Battalion, at about 1.35pm on Friday, arrested Umaru, a suspected Boko Haram terrorist group member whose photograph is on the poster containing the photographs of the wanted 100 Boko Haram terrorists.
According to him, the suspect has since been moved to 28 Task Force Brigade Headquarters for further investigation.
Usman also said the troops have repelled Boko Haram attacks inside Sambisa forest and also conducted patrols and clearance operations within the theatre of operations, in the ongoing Operation Crackdown in the North-east zone.
He disclosed that the troops of 21 Brigade and team of Armed Forces Special Forces (AFSF), while on harbour inside the forest for refitting, came under terrorists attack at about 1.45 am yesterday morning. However, Usman said, the troops successfully repelled the attack.
“They followed up with mopping up operations of the general area before advancing. They also recovered two corpses of the attackers and the following items; two AK-47 rifles, two Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bombs, five rifle magazines, mortar bombs and a belt of machine gun rounds.
“Unfortunately five soldiers were wounded in action (WIA), as a result of mortar fired into the harbour area by the Boko Haram terrorists. The wounded soldiers have been evacuated to the rear for treatment,” he stated.
Despite this incident, the DAPR assured that “the morale of the gallant troops remains very high as they are determined to successfully clear Boko Haram terrorists.”
In a related development, the Army Spokesman said the troops of 21 Brigade have continued with the clearance operations at Yerimari, while troops of 22 Task Force Brigade Garrison have also embarked on patrols along Dikwa-Mafa-Maiduguri road.
The patrol, he noted, was aimed at picketing the road to keep it safe and open. Similarly, he said the same unit in conjunction with some elements of 112 Task Force Battalion conducted a fighting patrol along Dikwa-Gulumba Gana road.
He revealed that the team had a fierce fire fight with some Boko Haram terrorist elements in which the troops killed a number of the Boko Haram terrorists.
Unfortunately, he said, while on their way back, the team ran into an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Antul, a village south-east of Dikwa, in which seven soldiers and four Civilian JTF accompanying them sustained injuries.
He said the injured soldiers and their civilian counterparts have been evacuated to 7 Division Hospital and Medical Services Maiduguri.
Usman however, said the patrol killed two Boko Haram terrorists and recovered two AK-47 rifles from them. According to him, the patrol team had earlier intercepted 31 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), including women and children coming from Sunabaya, Gumule, Garno and Mane-Gana villages.
The Army Spokesman explained that during preliminary investigations along with the vigilantes, one of the IDPs, Abacha Bulama, a native of Mane-Gana village, was found to be in possession of the sum of N1,900,000.
“Although he claimed to be a businessman, his possession of such large amount of money aroused suspicion. While Bulama has been detained for further investigation, other IDPs have been handed over to Dikwa IDP Camp Manager for screening and further humanitarian assistance,” he revealed.
Usman said troops of 254 Task Force Battalion, 25 Task Force Brigade have moved to Ngalimeri and shelled Boko Haram terrorists hideouts at Budumairi, Goneri Baleni, Mallam Maitari, Malemiri and Gombori.
He noted that even though there were no signs of the Boko Haram in the area as they had all fled, he however, said 35 persons were rescued, screened and rehabilitated at Damboa IDP camp.
He said troops of 192 Battalion, 26 Task Force Brigade also carried out clearance operations at Guduf Buba, Yagwa, Gamude, Kwatara Kasa and Kwatara Tsakiya villages.
Due to increased security, he noted, the area is witnessing increased humanitarian activities by various government and non-governmental agencies.