The Nigerian Army says it has stepped up operations nationwide to ensure a peaceful and conducive atmosphere for Nigerians.
Col. Aminu Iliyasu, Army Operations Media Coordinator disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Iliyasu said that troops in the various operational theatres across the country had continued to decimate and frustrate activities of criminal elements in line with the resolve of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai reassuring the general public of the resolve of the Nigerian Army to continue to execute their constitutional mandate professionally and responsively for a better and secured Nigeria
In line with their avowed resolve to uphold their oath of allegence to their fatherland and to protect its sanctity against all enemies of State, Nigerian Army troops have stepped up the tempo of their clearance operations particularly against the marauding Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West African Province in the North East, bandits in the North West and and other criminal elements across the nation. For instance, on 20 January 2020, the troops of 156 Battalion deployed at Mainok in Kaga LGA decimated some Boko Haram criminal elements who laid ambush along Jakana – Mainok Road. Several Boko Haram insurgents were neutralized while others escaped with gunshot wounds. Furthermore, 2 Boko Haram criminals’ Gun Trucks, one Browning Machine Gun, one DSHK Anti – Aircraft Gun, one AK 47 Rifle, one Rocket Propelled Gun bomb, 200 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition (Belted) and a box of 7.62mm Special ammunition were captured.
Similarly, by late evening on 27 January 2020, troops of 121 Task Force Battalion deployed at Pulka in Gwoza LGA of Borno State successfully sprung an ambush against a group of Boko Haram criminals mounted on motorcycles at Sabon Garin Kirawa in the same LGA. In the encounter which ensued, 2 of the insurgents were neutralised and one of their motorcycles was destroyed. Additionally, one motorcycle, one Automatic Grenade Launcher, one Light Machine Gun, one 81mm Mortar tube, one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 5 rounds of 81mm Mortar bombs and 5 rounds of Automatic Grenade Launcher bombs were captured by the gallant troops.
In the same vein, on 28 January 2020, troops of 159 Task Force Battalion deployed at Gubio LGA of Borno State in conjunction with elements of the Civilian Joint Task Force while on a fighting patrol had a meeting engagement with some Boko Haram criminal elements within the general area of Ngomolari Village. The valiant troops neutralized 2 of the insurgents forcing others to retreat in disarray albeit with gunshot wounds. Notwithstanding, the troops captured one AK 47 Rifle, 4 AK 47 Rifle magazines and 46 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition. Regrettably, one soldier and one member of the Civilian Joint Task Force were wounded in action. However, the wounded were immediately moved to a military medical facility and are currently responding positively to treatment.
In another development, on 28 January 2020, troops of 112 Task Force Battalion deployed at Mafa LGA of Borno State in conjunction with elements of Civilian Joint Task Force conducted a robust clearance operation to Talwari, Damjamari, Kajeri Mai Burem and Gana Villages. Interestingly, shortly after Gana Village, troops made contact with some marauding Boko Haram criminals. After a brief fire fight, 2 Boko Haram insurgents were neutralized. Furthermore, it is heart-warming that troops rescued 2 women and 5 children from the captivity of the criminals.
Relatedly, on 29 January 2020, troops of Sector 2 Operation LAFIYA DOLE in conjunction with elements of Chief of Army Staff Intervention Battalion and Theatre Special Forces conducted a massive clearance operation to Lambawa forest following an earlier encounter with Boko Haram criminals on 26 January 2020 in the general area. Although no contact was made with the criminal insurgents during the clearance operation, nevertheless the troops recovered one Anti-Aircraft Gun and 12.7mm ammunition metal links abandoned by the criminals as they were escaping in utter confusion during previous encounter.
Also, on 30 January 2020, Boko Haram criminals mounted on 11 Gun Trucks met an uncommon resilience and debilitating blow by troops of Sector 3 Operation LAFIYA DOLE deployed at Damasak in Mobbar LGA of Borno State. After 3 unsuccessful waves of attacks on the battle tested troops, the troops unleashed a well-coordinated and overwhelming fire power with the support from Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Artillery and other support weapons to obliterate a large number of the insurgents while others were forced to flee in bewilderment. Consequently, on 31 January 2020, troops on exploitation along the Boko Haram criminals’ withdrawal route recovered 2 bodies of the criminal insurgents while traces of blood were also observed. Equally, troops recovered 2 AK 47 Rifles and another burnt AK 47 Rifle, one AK 47 Rifle magazine, 16 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 2 Rocket Propelled Gun 7 bombs, 3 rounds of 60mm Mortar bombs and 263 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition.
Relatedly, in one of the most devastating defeats of Boko Haram criminals in recent times, on 5 February 2020, elite troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade under Operation SMOKEY THUNDER at blocking position of Boko Haram crossing points east of Gudumbali in Guzamala LGA of Borno State sighted some Boko Haram terrorists mounted on 9 Gun Trucks in the vicinity. Instinctively, the troops initiated a hot pursuit and made contact with the criminals. The resilience of the troopd and their superior fire power overwhelmed the criminals, forcing them to scamper in disarray. At the end of the encounter, 5 Boko Haram terrorists were neutralized and one of the Boko Haram criminals’ Gun Truck was destroyed. Additionally, one Dushka Anti-Aircraft Gun, one PKM Machine Gun Belt, 5 AK 47 Rifles, one Hand Held Radio, 2 Android phones and 3 Hand Grenades were captured by the troops. Regrettably, one gallant officer and one gallant soldier were wounded in action. However, the wounded personnel are currently responding positively to treatment in a military medical facility.
In another development, on 27 January 2020, Joint Tactical Team deployed to Borno and Yobe State arrested one Modu Gana, a high profile Boko Haram spy and logistics supplier at Airport Junction Bulunkutu Ngomari in Jere LGA of Borno State. Preliminary investigation revealed series of communication between the suspect and an Islamic State West Africa Province Commander – Bukar Fatumani requesting him to conduct surveillance on troops’ location at Benisheik, Jakana, Auno and Njimtilo.
In a separate incident, on 28 January 2020, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team of Army Super Camp 6 deployed in Konduga LGA of Borno State in conjunction with troops of Quick Response Force recovered an Improvised Explosive Device planted by the evil insurgents along Konduga- Kawuri Road. The device was safely detonated by the expert team. Also, on 29 January 2020, Troops of Sector 3 Operation LAFIYA DOLE also discovered and safely detonated an Improvised Explosive Device also planted by the cowardly insurgents along Garin Giwa – Cross Kauwa Road. In the same vein, on 29 January 2020, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team attached to Army Super Camp Dikwa discovered and safely detonated 2 Improvised Devices shortly before Kaga Bridge along Dikwa – Marte road.
Elsewhere in the North West region, in the early hours of 29 January 2020, gallant troops of 1 Battalion under Operation MESA deployed at Shanga LGA of Kebbi State acting on credible information about an armed robbery incident along Tungan Noma Village Road swiftly mobilized to the scene and made contact with the criminals. During the encounter, one of the armed robbers was neutralized while others escaped with gunshot wounds. Troops restored normal vehicular traffic and continue to maintain vigilance along the route.
Relatedly, on 28 January 2020, troops of 1 Brigade successfully intercepted a group of bandits mounted on motorcycles who were heading towards Birnin Tsaha Village in Birnin Magaji LGA of Zamfara State for an impending attack on the community. On sighting the advancing troops, the criminals scampered in disarray into the bushes avoiding contact. Nevertheless, troops recovered one AK 47 Rifle, 2 AK 47 Rifle magazines and 46 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition abandoned by the escaping bandits.
Also, on 28 January 2020, troops of 35 Battalion deployed in Katsina raided a bandits’ hideout at Garu Village in Kaita LGA of Katsina State, neutralized one bandit and recovered 3 locally made pistols, some quantity of gun powder and a handset, sim card and memory card. Recovered items are being analysed for possible clue to arrest the gang members.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai wishes to reassure the general public of the resolve of the Nigerian Army to continue to execute our constitutional mandate professionally and responsively for a better and secured Nigeria. He also thanks all well-meaning Nigerians for their continued support, goodwill and understanding towards officers and men of the Nigerian Army.