Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Nigerian military has intercepted a ransom payment to suspected members of the Boko Haram sect.
A statement issued yesterday by the acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brig. Gen. Benard Onyeuko, said on November 17, 2020, troops of the 251 Task Force Battalion deployed in Strong Response Area (SRA) Molai, acting on credible intelligence, intercepted some Boko Haram criminals and relations of some kidnapped persons making efforts to pay a ransom of N2 million to the terrorists.
The statement stated: “In a swift reaction, the gallant troops engaged the Boko Haram criminals forcing them to abort the collection of the payment as well as abandon their captives, in the aftermath of the decisive encounter.
“One Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist was neutralised while others escaped with gunshot wounds. An AK 47 rifle and a motorcycle were recovered. The victims, including two women and three children, were all rescued unhurt.
“In another development, on November 17, 2020, troops of 151 Battalion conducted an aggressive fighting patrol to clear Boko Haram criminals’ hideout in the general area of Zaye Ngusa village.
The eagle-eyed troops spotted the criminals and engaged them with superior fire power forcing them to withdraw in disarray as blood littered their escape paths. One terrorist was neutralised.
“Same day, troops of 202 Battalion conducted a successful ambush operation along one of the criminals crossing point leading to the neutralisation of one Boko Haram criminal, while several others are believed to have escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds under the cover of darkness.”
The statement further said: “Similarly, on November 15, 2020, troops of 26 Task Force Brigade in SRA Pulka in a well-coordinated ambush operation on Pulka-Sabon Gari-Kirawa Road, intercepted Boko Haram logistics convoy.
“On sighting the terrorists, the troops engaged them with gun fire forcing them to flee and abandon their consignments. Items recovered from them were eight bicycles, several bags of grains, assorted packets of drugs and other food items.”