* Says 603 surrendered in five weeks
By Codratus Godson
The Nigerian Army has announced killing of 35 suspected Boko Haram terrorist operatives in the days culminating in the last weekend. A statement made available to BusinessDay May 23, 2020, said; “In all, a total of 35 Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) with ISWAP members were killed in Sector 1 offensives between 11 and 22 May 2020.”
This is as reports from the Army said 603 BHT have so far surrendered in the past five weeks saying they could no longer stand the superior fire-power of the Nigerian Army with steady air bombardments.
The statement said the Chief of the Army Staff has thus commend the gallant troops for their professionalism as the High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria congratulates and also encourages troops of Operation Lafiya Dole to maintain the momentum of their operations towards eradicating the terrorists from the North East.
In a statement signed by John Enemche, a Major General and Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, the Army said troops of Special Response Area Pulka with the Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters ambushed the terrorists on 13 May 2020 along Pulka-Boko- Kirawa road. Eight BHT/ISWAP fighters were killed while 10 Motorcycles and assorted food items were captured.
“On 15 May 2020 troops of 192 Bn ambushed BHT/ISWAP fighters relocating from Sambisa forest to Mandara mountains due to heavy air and artillery bombardments. Five of them were killed, 3 AK 47 rifles and 17 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, one pair of BHT/ISWAP uniform, two cartridges and other clothing materials were recovered.
“Same day, troops of 22 Brigade deployed at Dikwa in conjunction with troops from Quick Response Area neutralized 2 terrorists who attempted to attack the troops location from Boboshe. Others fled with gunshot wounds. One AK 47 rifle and one magazine with 15 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition were recovered.
“Between 19 and 20 May 2020, following Gajigana attack, troops of 7 Division Garrison, 195 and 212 Battalions with Vigilantes exploited and discovered five terrorists killed in action. Five AK 47 rifles, 2 BHT gun trucks, one anti aircraft gun, 6 assorted magazines, 250 rounds of 12.7 mm, 61 rounds of 7.62 mm and 2 hand grenades were recovered.”
The statement said in continuation of Operation Lafiya Dole (OLD) subsidiary Operation Kantana Jimlan (OKJ), troops of Army Super Camp 6 and 7 conducted a long range fighting patrol on 11 May 2020 and cleared Adzunge and adjoining villages. “In another operation, troops of Special Response Area Pulka with Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters ambushed the terrorists on 20 May 2020 along Pulka-Dirgi-Banki general area. In the encounter two BHT/ISWAP fighters were killed while others escaped with One AK 47 loaded with 30 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition was recovered.
“Furthermore, on 21 May 2020 troops of 81 Division Task Force under 22 Brigade and 153 Task Force Bn with Civilian Joint Task Force cleared Mugdala village. During the operation eight BHT/ISWAP terrorists were killed. One AK 47 rifle, One Dane gun, 3 BHT flags, 2 bicycles,2 Techno cell phones, 2 memory cards and other phone accessories were recovered.
“Equally, troops of 202 Bn and Special Armoured Brigade Garrison Bama, based on credible intelligence sprung an ambush on 22 May 2020 at BHT/ISWAP crossing point along Bama Aulari Road. Three BHT/ISWAP terrorists were neutralised and others escaped with gunshot wounds.”
The Army said the 603 repentant terrorists undergoing screening and retraining would rejoin normal life in due course. Some of them said the promise of wives and money did not materialise as their commanders cornered everything.