By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
As Nigerian Army troops sustain their relentless operations across the nation, more elements of the marauding Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgents as well as bandits and other criminal elements have either been neutralised or arrested at their hideouts across the country and more of their abductees have been freed.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu made available on January 11, 2020.
On January 7 2020 for instance, troops of 121 Battalion deployed at Pulka in Gwoza LGA of Borno State while on ‘Operation RUFE KOFA’ cleared and destroyed Boko Haram criminals’ hideouts at Zeledva Hills along Pulka – Bokko – Ngoshe Road in the same LGA.
In a related development, the combined troops of 192 Battalion deployed at Gwoza, Borno State, elements of Theatre Strike Force(TSF) and the Cameroonian Defence Force in conjunction with the Civilian Joint Task Force and Local Hunters briskly ascended the Ungwan Gara Kwatara mountain enclave of the Boko Haram criminals.
On sighting the troops, the criminals fled the enclave in disarray. Nevertheless, the resilient troops went ahead to clear the hideout of any presence and activities of the insurgents. In the process, the troops rescue 5 abandoned captives including one septuagenarian, 3 women and one minor.
In a similar operation conducted by troops of 21 Special Armoured Brigade deployed at Bama, Borno State, on 9 January 2020, troops recovered the mutilated body parts of a neutralized Boko Haram criminal from an earlier encounter and one AK 47 Rifle magazine.
In another separate encounter, on 8 January 2020, troops of 112 Task Force Battalion deployed in Mafa LGA of Borno State decimated some Boko Haram criminals and captured one AK 47 Rifle, a bandolier of 7.62mm NATO ammunition and 4 AK 47 magazines loaded with 120 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition while others were believed to have escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds.
In another daring encounter with some cowardly Boko Haram criminals on 6 January 2020, troops of 22 Brigade (Main) deployed in Dikwa LGA of Borno State rescued one Mr Ibrahim who was earlier abducted by the criminals.
Relatedly, in the North West Theater, on 9 January 2020, troops of 17 Brigade deployed at Tashan Bawa, Sabuwa LGA of Katsina State swiftly responded to a distress call concerning bandits’ attack at Madaci Village in the same LGA. On arrival at the location, the troops decisively engaged the bandits with superior fire power and tenacity.
The troops eliminated many of the bandits while others fled into the nearby Madaci – Birnin Gwari Forest with various degrees of gunshot wounds. Troops thereafter intensified the conduct of robust patrols in the general area to obviate further respite for the bandits.
Furthermore, on 10 January 2020, troops of 8 Division acting on reliable information intercepted a group of bandits moving with rustled cattle towards Miyanchi in Maru LGA of Sokoto State.
Troops made contact with the bandits at Kadauri and Miyanchi Bridge of the same LGA. In the ensuing encounter, 3 bandits were neutralized. Additionally, 2 AK 47 Rifles, 7 AK 47 Rifle magazines loaded with 210 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, one Rocket Propelled Gun Tube, one Rocket Propelled Gun bomb, herd of cattle and sheep were recovered from the bandits. Regrettably, 2 gallant soldiers sustained gunshot wounds and have been evacuated to a military medical facility where they are positively responding to treatment.
The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Turkur Yusufu Buratai commends the troops for their sustained resilience and courage. He urges them to maintain the momentum against all criminal elements until they are totally brought to their knees.