• Rescue 16 hostages, recover large cache of arms
Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
Soldiers have recorded successes in their clearance operations in parts of the North-east and North -west, killing several Boko Haram terrorists and three armed bandits respectively.
The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, in a statement on Thursday, said the troops of 118 Task Force Battalion, 8 Task Force Division, on blocking position at Garere Junction yesterday morning, ambushed Boko Haram terrorists at Gudumbali, northern part of Borno State, while they were crossing to another location with some logistics items.
Usman said that during the operation, the troops killed two and wounded one of the terrorists.
He said the troops also recovered two AK-47, a G3 rifle, 660 Litres of Premium Motor Spirit and yards of military uniforms.
“The troops also recovered a truck earlier stolen by the terrorists in Kangarwa,” he stated.
In a related development, Usman said the troops of 121 Task Force Battalion, 26 Task Force Brigade, accompanied by a large number of Civilian JTF from Gwoza, had on Tuesday, “embarked on a very aggressive patrol that dislodged remnants Boko Haram terrorists hibernating at Ngoshe and Gava villages, located close to Gwoza on the mountainous terrain.”
According to him, the essence of the robust patrol, which was supported by the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) and Camerounian Defence Forces who provided air cover and real time Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance, was to clear the remnants of the terrorists hiding in the mountainous area and rescue all persons held hostage by the Boko Haram terrorists.
The Army Spokesman said while advancing towards their objective in Ngoshe, the patrol team encountered Boko Haram terrorists.
“They have to clear the delay positions staged by the terrorists through the support of the NAF fighter jets.
“Although the number of terrorists killed could not be ascertained, quite a number of them where seen falling over the mountains when engaged. It is equally believed several others escaped with gun shot wounds,” he revealed.
He said the troops were however able to recover quite a number of arms and ammunitions including a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) tube, four RPG Bombs, General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), Fabrique Nationale (FN) rifle and three AK-47 rifles.
He listed other items recovered to include one Sub-Machine Gun(SMG), Locally made Pistol, a locally made Double-Barrel gun, Smoke Grenade, 243 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition and one round of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition.
“They also recovered 18 rounds of MI16 rifle, three G3 Rifle magazines, 2 AK-47 magazines, mobile telephone handset and a SIM card, as well as a pair of military desert camouflage uniform.
“Other items were an address card, three Boko Haram terrorists flags and a Toyota Hilux vehicle painted in desert camouflage colour and motorcycles,” he said.
Usman said the troops did not find any hostage in Gava but were able to rescue 16 civilians held in Ngoshe prison, “while many residents of the town saw it as an opportunity to flee from the town.”
He added that both the rescued and freed persons are being profiled by the troops.
In another development, the troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army involved in Operation Sharan Daji, the outfit to clear cattle rustlers, armed bandits and kidnappers in the North-west geo-political region in the country, yesterday cleared armed bandits in Gobirawan Kwacha, Dansadau District of Maru Local Government Area (LGA) of Zamfara State.
Usman said that during the encounter in the forest, “the troops were able to kill three armed bandits and recovered an AK-47 rifle, AK-47 magazine and 11 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition.
Unfortunately, he said, the bandits shot and damaged the troops’ vehicle.
He however assured that none of the soldiers was injured.