Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have killed 53 terrorists during clashes that spanned one week, including the counter attack in Monguno, Borno State while jet fighters eliminated scores of insurgents in Garin Maloma on the fringes of Sambisa Forest in a subsidiary operation tagged “Long Reach”.
However, two soldiers were killed during the fierce Monguno encounter.
Military authorities said troops carried out several aggressive clearance operation at various locations within the theatre, including a daring counter-attack on Boko Haram terrorists who attempted to infiltrate Monguno town.
The counter attack by own troops at Monguno resulted in the neutralisation of 51 terrorists and the recovery of a large cache of arms, ammunition and equipment, as well as the rescue of 33 captives, amongst others.
On the Garin Maloma air strikes, the military said the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole destroyed a compound housing some high-value Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) leaders and neutralised some of their fighters at Garin Maloma on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State.
This was achieved through massive air strikes executed to mark the launch of Operation Long Reach, a new subsidiary operation in the theatre, which commenced on June 26, 2020.
“The attack at Garin Maloma, a major node in the BHT’s line of communication in the Sambisa Forest axis, was undertaken based on credible intelligence reports as well as days of surveillance missions indicating that the terrorists had begun using one of the compounds in the settlement for accommodation and training of their fighters.
“Accordingly, the ATF dispatched an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft and fighter jets to attack the location. Overhead the target area, many BHT fighters were observed in the vicinity of settlement, with a few around the solar panel-mounted, High Value Target (HVT) location”, it said.
The update issued by the Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO) said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets engaged the location in successive waves of attacks leading to significant damage to numerous structures as well as killing of several terrorists.
“Some terrorists, who survived the first few waves and converged around the rubble near the damaged HVT compound, were taken out in subsequent follow-on attacks”, it said.