Military sustains onslaught against insurgents-DHQ

A poster displayed along the road shows photograph of Imam Abubakar Shekau, leader of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, declared wanted by the Nigerian military with $320,471 reward for information that could lead to his capture in northeastern Nigeria town of Maiduguri May 1, 2013. Abubakar Shekau, leader of Islamist sect that has killed about 4,000 people since 2009 when it began its campaign of terror is Nigeria's most wanted man, who has been designated a terrorist by the US government. President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the constitution of a Presidential Committee to constructively engage key members of Boko Haram and define a comprehensive and workable framework for resolving the crisis of insecurity in the country. AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja, Aug. 27, 2020 The Defence Headquarters says the Armed Forces of Nigeria, working together with other security agencies have continued to sustain the onslaught against insurgents in its operations in the country.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche said this at the updates briefing on military operations in August across the country on Thursday in Abuja.

Enenche said that in August, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE in the northeast zone conducted several operations and recorded attendance successes with scores of the terrorists’ leaders and fighters neutralized and their structures destroyed.

He said that the operation ranged from aggressive clearance operations to comprehensive precision air strikes and air interdictions, including artillery and aerial bombardments on terrorists’ enclaves.

“Within the period under review, the Land Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE conducted offensives to several Boko Haram/ISWAP enclaves in Borno and Yobe States.

“These cumulatively led to the neutralization of 17 members of the BHT/ISWAP elements and several of them escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds.

“With superior firepower, the gallant troops repelled terrorists’ attacks on their own troops’ locations,” he said.

He said that the troops thwarted BHT/ISWAP attempts to interrupt the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons to their communities in Borno, which was flagged-off by the governor of the state.

Enenche said that troops also recovered a large cache of arms and ammunition as well as equipment during the operations while four abducted persons were also rescued.

“However, in one of the encounters, three of our own troops paid the supreme prize.

In the meantime, other injured troops are recuperating at one of our medical facilities. Nonetheless, calm has been restored to the affected communities.

“The air strikes by the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE killed no fewer than 111 BHT/ISWAP elements, including 15 of their high ranking commanders.

“This included the ISWAP naval commander Abu Imraana, Mallam Abba and Mallam Ibrahim,” he said.

According to him, this is in addition to several others neutralized in the devastating air bombardments directed at structures used by terrorists as hideouts and administrative headquarters as well as training camps.

He said that several BHT/ISWAP elements’ camps used as logistics bases and harbors for their fighters and leaders were also destroyed.

“It is therefore clear that troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria working together with other security agencies remain committed and dedicated in their endeavor to end the fight against the BHT/ISWAP menace in the North-East zone,” he said.

According to him, in the North-Central zone, troops have also continued to sustain intensive clearance operations which have yielded remarkable successes.

“Within the period under review, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN, THUNDER-STRIKE, WHIRL PUNCH AND WHIRL STROKE conducted several ambushes, raids and clearance patrols at various locations in the zone which resulted in appreciable successes within the period under review.

“These ongoing kinetic efforts are being supported by non-kinetic operations in the form of Civil Military Cooperation activities, Reconciliation and Conciliation efforts in the form of stakeholders’ meetings amongst the various ethnic groups in the zone, amongst others.

He said that troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN arrested 17 armed robbery and drug smuggling suspects during raid operations at various locations within Plateau including Unguwar Mata, New Market General Area, Makera, Damakasuwa and Rukkaya communities, amongst others.

According to him, these successful operations were conducted following credible intelligence on the activities of the criminals within the general area.

“Similarly, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE neutralized a notorious bandit Mr Atsor AKA ‘smallie’ during a dawn raid at a hideout being used by armed militia linked to wanted Benue militia leader Terwase Akwaza aka Gana around Abaji in Katsina Ala LGA of Benue.

“During the operation conducted on Aug. 18, troops recovered one AK 47 rifle and 17 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition during the operation.

“Furthermore, the Air Component of Operation THUNDER STRIKE equally neutralized several armed bandits at their hideout in the Kuduru Forest area of Kaduna State,” he said

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