- 20 sect members killed, 17 captured, says Army
Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri with agency report
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) wednesday disclosed that 26 officers had been lost to Boko Haram insurgency.
Addressing journalists in Maiduguri, the Comptroller of the service in Borno/Yobe States, Mr. Joshua Angbalaga, said the insurgency in the North-east has seriously affected the activities of the NCS in discharging its duty effectively.
He said this has also adversely affected the revenue of the command as only one of the 13 economic borders is functioning optimally with one running skeletal service.
According to him, the border at Gaidam in Yobe State is functional while the other in Gamboru, Borno State, is functioning skeletally.
Angbalaga said unless the Boko Haram insurgency is totally crushed by the military to free Borno State particularly, the 13 economic borders across Borno and Yobe States would remain closed.
He also lamented that compensation was yet to be paid for customs officers killed at the peak of the insurgency, noting that the NCS ensures that its officers and men are insured, they have been ignored when it comes to special compensation as it affects other agencies.
Speaking also on the need for training and retraining of its officers and men, the comptroller said the National Open University of Nigeria has opened more opportunities for working class to get educated and he has been encouraging his men to take that opportunity.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army wednesday said its troops had killed 20 Boko Haram insurgents in a clearance operation in the Lake Chad Basin.
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 8 Division, Timothy Antigha, made the disclosure in a statement in Maiduguri.
Antigha said the troops captured 17 insurgents, rescued 100 people, recovered vehicles and ammunition.
He said the six soldiers that sustained injuries in the operation were referred to military medical facility for treatment.
He said the operations were conducted in the past two weeks in Islands in Lake Chad region to crush Boko Haram insurgents inhabiting the islands.
â€œIn continuation of Operation Deep Punch 2, designed to smoke out Boko Haram terrorists inhabiting remote Islands in Lake Chad basin lying within Nigerian territory, troops of 8 Division, Nigerian Army, on Operation Lafiya Dole, supported by soldiers of the Armed Forces Strike Group have inflicted heavy casualties on Boko Haram terrorists.
â€œThe operation which commenced about two weeks ago preceded by coordinated air and artillery bombardments of islands and localities occupied by terrorists.
â€œThe insurgents sneak into Magumeri, Kauram and other locations to loot property, attack security personnel and villagers.
â€œIslands and villages cleared so far include: Arena Chiki, Chikun Gudu, Arena Waje, Saâ€™ada and Juwe.â€
Antigha, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), further disclosed that the rescued civilians included 100 elderly men, women and children.
He added that preliminary investigation revealed that most of the rescued persons were held hostage and forced to work in the farms.
The army spokesman listed the ammunition recovered to include one Mercedes Benz truck; two gun trucks, two pick up vans, one anti-aircraft machine gun, five AK-47 riffles, three Fabrique Nationals (FN) riffles, two G3 riffles and one pump action riffle.
Others are: one Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) tube, two bombs, two Very High Frequency (VHF) Radios and one Night Vision Goggle.
The troops also recovered 55 rounds of 5.56 X 45 mm ammunition, 5 Bangalore Torpedo, Two 120mm Mortar Bombs, and 1000 rounds of 7.62 mm Ball Metal Link ammunition.
Other ammunition included 55 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, 108 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, two memory cards, two hydraulic jacks and a 1.5 amp battery.