Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Nigerian Army wednesday launched an operation tagged: ‘Operation Rescue Finale’ targeted at rescuing the remaining Chibok schoolgirls from Boko Haram insurgents.
The military revealed that the assault operation would finally free the girls abducted on April 14, 2014.
Addressing a press conference in Maiduguri wednesday, the head of the counter-insurgency operation in the North-east (Operation Lafiya Dole), Major General Lucky Irabor said the military was more determined than ever to free the remaining Chibok girls.
He noted that the new operation which commenced early this month, was a continuation of Operation Crackdown, with a sole target of rescuing all the Chibok school girls and other hostages being held by the terrorists in Sambisa forest.
According to him, the operation has so far started yielding fruitful results as a total of 5,232 persons, hitherto under the custody of Boko Haram militants were rescued within the past one month.
He said: “Preliminary bombardment of selected targets by own Artillery and Air Component is in progress. The subsidiary operations allied to Operation Rescue Finale, are ongoing and would be touched subsequently.”
He also said the troops are determined to unveil aggressive modalities to stem the recurrence of the recent suicide bombings in Maiduguri and environs, saying effective surveillence and intelligence gathering were being put in place to trace the hide-outs of the bombers.
He explained that the recent àrrest of a supposed female suicide bomber, who failed to detonate the explosive strapped on her body, helped the troops to have a clue on the hide-outs of the terrorists, who are coordinating the suicide missions.
“The impact of the recent bombings in Maiduguri, though sad and unfortunate, was minimal due to the alertness of troops and other security agencies. Apart from the one wherein two members of the Civilian JTF killed and some others wounded, only the terrorists died, while one was captured alive.
“The captured suicide bomber is assisting in the investigation into cases of suicide bombings. The incidents are only indicative of a weakened and defeateted insurgents,” Irabor declared.
On the various successes recorded by the military, Irabor revealed that the troops conducted series of clearance operations and fighting patrol, during which hundreds of insurgents were killed, with large quantity of assorted arms, ammunition and vehicles recoverd.