Eight soldiers, policemen killed in Yobe
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Military High Command thursday said 2,000 members of terrorist groups, Boko Haram and the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) have surrendered since 2015.
This is coming as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, declared victory over invading insurgents in Damboa, Borno State, who attacked the town with 30 gun trucks.
With combined artillery bombardment and air strikes, scores of insurgents were decimated Wednesday while 18 gun trucks were destroyed.
Three soldiers were killed while five policemen died in separate attacks by insurgents in Chibok, Borno State.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting to work out modalities for transferring repentant terrorists to national and state governments, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, said since the establishment of Operation Safe Corridor, set up to create opportunities for terrorists to lay down their arms, 2,000 members of Boko Haram and ISWAP have surrendered.
The CDS also denied that the military was recruiting repentant terrorists.
He said 1,000 of them were processed by Operation Safe Corridor within the period under review even as 250 members including two foreign nationals were successfully reintegrated by their national and state governments.
He said the remaining 692 are currently undergoing the de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration at the DRR camp in Gombe State.
He denied reports that repentant terrorists were being recruited into the military and paramilitary organisations.
“I wish to categorically, refute the claim and assure Nigerians that none of the rehabilitated Nigerians from Operation Safe Corridor has been recruited into the Nigerian military or any sister security agencies as stringent measures have been put in place to prevent such from happening”, he said.
Meanwhile, Buratai has declared victory over the insurgents in Damboa, Borno State.
An army statement said following the killing of 19 insurgents and capture of 18 out of the 30 gun trucks deployed by terrorists during the attack, Buratai hailed troops for their gallantry in routing the terrorists.
It said “three valiant soldiers paid the supreme prize while four others were wounded in action,” even as the wounded in action soldiers were evacuated to a military medical facility for immediate and effective management.
“To this end, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai hereby congratulates the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for their decisive victory against the enemies of our country.
“He further urges them to remain steadfast, loyal and resolute in the discharge of their professional responsibilities”.
He further reassured the residents of Damboa and indeed the North-east at large of the unflinching resolve of troops to protecting the lives and properties of all law abiding citizens”, it said.
In another development, the Jihadists have killed five policemen in an attack on Yobe town where more than 100 schoolgirls were abducted two years ago, residents said Thursday.
Fighters aligned to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in four trucks fitted with machine guns stormed Dapchi town in northeastern Yobe State late on Wednesday, sparking intense fighting with security forces, according to local residents.
The Acting Assistant Director of Army Public Relations of Sector 2, Operation Lafiya Dole, Lieutenant Chinonso Oteh, as well as the Police Public Relations Officer in Yobe, Dungus Abdulkarim, have confirmed the attack.
Both men were, however, unable to give details of the casualties in the incident.
The insurgents were said to have invaded the town in what appeared to be an attack targeted at security formations in Dapchi.
They attacked the Divisional Police Headquarters and the Nigerian Army formation in the town, while one police armoured vehicle was set ablaze.
The insurgents came to Dapchi, about 100 kilometres from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, through neighbouring Jumbam village.
The Executive Secretary of the Yobe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Mohammed Goje, who visited the scene of the attack sympathised with the people of the town.
The attack comes two weeks after some insurgents stormed the town and set ablaze the telecommunication network facility in Dapchi.