By Kingsley Nwezeh
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) at the weekend said troops clashed 17 times with insurgents in the North-east in the month of June.
The clashes resulted in the death of 75 insurgents and an army officer while 35 captives were liberated.
Giving an update on the war against insurgency, the Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO) said the encounters also led to the capture of assorted arms and large cache of ammunition, including one anti-aircraft gun, 13 AK 47 rifles, one sniper rifle, 21 locally made guns, two dane guns and one Rocket-Propelled Gun (RPG).
Others include three hand grenades, five Rocket Propelled Gun (RPG), bombs, 205 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition; 1,018 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and two Boko Haram flags.
“In their resolve to end BHT/ISWAP menace in the North-east region from June 1 to 30, 2020, the gallant troops of Operation Lafiya Dole had a total of 17 encounters with the marauding criminals, neutralising 75 of them in the process.
“Regrettably, one officer paid the supreme price, while one soldier was wounded in action. The wounded personnel has since been evacuated to a military medical facility where he is recuperating,” it said.
The update issued by Coordinator of DDMO, Major General John Enenche, said troops rescued 35 captives from the captivity of Boko Haram and ISWAP terror groups.
“Amongst those rescued are 18 women, 16 children and one adult male. The rescued children were promptly administered with polio vaccine in line with the Buratai Intervention Initiative, while the women were administered with first aid as required,” it said.
Enenche said four terrorists, including two women namely Aishatu Manye and Kelune Mate were captured and later identified to be the wives of the local Boko Haram commander at Gajingi in Madagali LGA of Adamawa State.
Also, the troops arrested one Boko Haram spy named Kawalu during a Jumaat prayer at Michika Central Mosque and one Boko Haram fighter captured in the aftermath of an encounter at Miyanti general area in Bama LGA of Borno State.
He said the period under review also witnessed the surrender of four Boko Haram fighters while the trio of Mohammed Babagana, Modu Jugudun and Alhaji Usman surrendered to troops of Delta Company at Strong Response Area Pulka in Gwoza LGA of Borno State even as one Mustapha Kori surrendered to troops of Army Super Camp 11 Gamboru in Ngala LGA of Borno State.
In the same vein, one gun truck, one vehicle borne Improvised Explosive Device (IED), one toyota starlet car and several makeshift structures belonging to the terrorists were destroyed by troops within the period.
Enenche said the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai commended the troops for the resilience and patriotism they continue to demonstrate in crushing the remnants of terrorists.
He also urged them to maintain the tempo against the “criminals as we approach the end of insurgency in our country. In a similar vein, the military high command encouraged the troops of Lafiya Dole to remain resolute in curtailing the activities of terrorists and their collaborators in the North-east zone of the country.
“The high command equally appreciates Nigerians for their support and urged them to continue providing timely information to troops on activities of BHTs/ISWAP collaborators in their respective localities for prompt and effective action”.