Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday raised the alarm over the purchase of fertilisers by suspected terrorists to manufacture explosives.
The Coordinator of the Directorate of Defence Media Operations, (DDMO), Maj. Gen. John Enenche, gave the warning at a media briefing in Abuja on the military’s operations from January 7 to 13.
He said no fewer than 64 fighters of Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) were killed during an encounter with troops in Yobe State.
He said the use of fertilisers by criminal gangs threatened the security of the nation.
According to him, “While fertilisers are majorly for agricultural purposes, the possibility of it being acquired by criminal gangs, terrorists and militants for sinister purposes cannot be disregarded as fertiliser has remained a potential component for the fabrication of explosives owing to its content of Ammonium Nitrate.
“Furthermore, fertiliser poses a security threat considering current security challenges.”
Enenche said no fewer than 64 fighters of the Boko Haram and the Islamic State of the West Africa Province, (ISWAP) were killed during an encounter with troops in Yobe State within the week.
He added that troops of the newly-launched subsidiary, Operation Tura Tskai Bango, engaged some marauding Boko Haram elements at Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State.
“During the encounter, 28 terrorists were neutralised and several others escaped with gunshot wounds while one gun truck and several arms and ammunition were recovered,” he stated.
He added that troops had an encounter with some Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists at Gonan Kaji Village along Damaturu-Buni Yadi Road in Yobe State.
“Thirty terrorists were killed in contact while caches of arms and ammunition were recovered by troops,” he said.
The troops also engaged some marauding Boko Haram elements at Kafa Village in Damboa Local Government Area of Yobe State.
“During the encounter, six terrorists were neutralised and a gun truck and several weapons as well as equipment belonging to the terrorists were destroyed,” Enenche said.
Speaking on military operations in the South-South, he said troops of Operation Delta Safe have sustained the fight against economic sabotage in the zone.
“Notably on 9 January 2021, gunboats of Forward Operating Base Ibaka, while on routine patrol around Effiat waterways, intercepted and arrested a large wooden boat laden with 1,184 25kg bags of Yaraliva Nitrabor Fertiliser suspected to be smuggled in from the Republic of Cameroon with two suspects.
“Suspects and items are currently in custody and will soon be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting authority,” he said.