Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
In the wake of the mass exodus of insurgents from Lake Chad Tumbus to North and Central Africa, the Multinational Joint Task Force yesterday killed an arms trainer deployed to the North-east by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Six commanders of the Islamic State for West Africa Province (ISWAP) were also neutralised during a combined artillery and aerial bombardment by the combined forces of the Nigerian military and MNJTF.
Following the development, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, praised gallant soldiers and urged them not to relent in the war against insurgency and be more decisive in dealing with terrorists.
An army statement said Thursday that insurgents in the Lake Chad Tumbus were fleeing in droves to the North, Central Africa and Sudan following intensive pounding of terrorist positions on the fringes of Lake Chad.
An update on the war against insurgency issued by the Nigerian Army Headquarters yesterday listed the commanders to include Abba Mainok, Bukar Dunokaube, Abu Kololo, Abor Kime (said to be of Arab origin – likely their ISIS trainer), Mann Chari, Dawoud Abdoulaye (from Mali) and Abu Hamza.
“The MNJTF and the Nigerian Armed Forces are in celebrative mood today and have been basking in the successes of their combined efforts of artillery and air bombardments of suspected hideouts of erstwhile Boko Haram/ISWAP at the Tumbus of Lake Chad region that neutralised many including key commanders.
“However, it was mourning and a monumental set back to the erstwhile Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters hibernating at the triangular area,” it said.
The war update said “reliable information coming out from the inner circles of the demented and criminal group’s enclave escaping to Sudan and Central African Republic, indicates that at least not fewer than seven of their key commanders have been wasted by the superior forces of the MNJTF.”
The statement issued by Army Spokesman, Col Sagir Musa, said the “neutralised commanders are Abba Mainok, Bukar Dunokaube, Abu kololo, Abor Kime (said to be of Arab origin – likely their ISIS trainer), Mann Chari, Dawoud Abdoulaye (from Mali) and Abu Hamza.
“All these were said to be commanders of various Tumbus controlling fighters before they were decisively dealt with and sent to the pit of hell by the military bombardment.”
The Army, however, noted that “although these names may be not be real and may likely be nicknames, nonetheless, it is an unprecedented feat to our quest of clearing the remnants of these criminals in the area.
“Consequently, efforts are ongoing to get more information on their true identities”.
The Army Chief commended the troops and urged them to be more decisive in dealing with the insurgency.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai had through the Theatre Commander Multinational Joint Task Force and the Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole commended the troops for these great efforts and enjoined them to do more”, he said.