By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
In tune with their recently declared resolve to sustain their efforts until all the remnants of the criminal Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province insurgents are completely wiped out, the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have thwarted the nefarious plans of the insurgents to attack some soft targets in Gamboru Ngala with a view to demonstrating their resilience which is clearly on a downward slide .
Tgis was contained in a statement signed by the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, made available on Sunday January 26, 2020.
In a unique display of courage and resilience on their part, on 18 January 2020, troops of 3 Battalion (Main) Operation LAFIYA DOLE deployed in Gamborou-Ngala LGA of Borno State gallantly repelled a Boko Haram attack on the Ngala Community.
The criminal insurgents sneaked into the peaceful community in 5 Gun Trucks, motorcycles and a number of foot soldiers through the rear of a Humanitarian hub using a farm as cover with the heinous intent to unleash one of the most devastating terror attacks in recent times.
Fortunately for the residents, the vigilant troops responded swiftly, engaging the criminals with overwhelmingly superior firepower, thereby forcing them to beat a hasty retreat in complete disarray.
During the ensuing pursuit and exploitation embarked upon by the troops, one Boko Haram criminal suicide truck driver strapped with a suicide vest was neutralised. Items captured during the encounter include one AK 47 Rifle, one FN Rifle, one motorcycle and one heavily laden Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device with deadly explosive materials.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device and the suicide bomber were heading to the Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Gamborou-Ngala before the valiant troops intercepted and foiled the murderous plan of the insurgents. Additionally, 5 Humanitarian workers who took refuge in a bunker during the attack were successfully rescued by the troops.
In a related development, on 24 January 2020, troops of the same 3 Battalion (Main) Operation LAFIYA DOLE deployed at Ngala bridge gallantly repelled another Boko Haram attack on their location.
The criminal insurgents came in 3 Gun Trucks and a number of foot soldiers late afternoon but the rugged troops immediately swung into action, engaging and decimating the marauding criminals and inflicting heavy casualty on both their men and equipment. At the end of the encounter, 2 out of the 3 Boko Haram criminals’ Gun Trucks were captured.
Additionally, 2 Anti-Aircraft guns, one General Purpose Machine Gun, 2 AK 47 Rifles, one General Purpose Machine Gun barrel, 688 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, 20 rounds of PKT ammunition, 63 rounds of .50 ammunition were also captured.
One neutralized body of the criminal insurgents was recovered during exploitation while several other bodies and wounded were believed to be carted away as evident by the trails of blood found along their withdrawal route.
Similarly, on 24 January 2020, troops of 7 Division Operation LAFIYA DOLE led by the Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division/Commander Sector 1 Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Brigadier General Abdul Khalifa Ibrahim decisively cleared a Boko Haram ambush while on clearance operations between Firgi and Bank Junction in Bama LGA of Borno State.
In the aftermath of the encounter, 2 Boko Haram criminals were neutralized while others are believed to have escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds.
In another brief encounter on 19 January 2020, troops of 159 Battalion deployed at Geidam LGA of Yobe State neutralized 2 Boko Haram criminals.
Several of the insurgents were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds as indicated by traces of blood along their withdrawal route. Items recovered afterwards during mop-up operation include, 2 AK 47 Rifles, 5 AK 47 Rifle magazines and 45 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition.
Similarly, on 19 January 2020, troops of 21 Special Armoured Brigade deployed at Bama, Borno State in conjunction with elements of Headquarters 7 Division, Theatre Special Forces 1 and 2, Camerounian Defence Forces, Civilian Joint Task Force and Vigilantes conducted a robust clearance operation to suspected Boko Haram hideouts at Gabchari, Shuwarin, Maluborin, Gremari, and Kanari Villages of same LGA.
During the operations, troops made partial contact with some of the marauding terrorists at Shuwarin who realising that they could not withstand the superior firepower of the troops, abandoned the location and scampered into the nearby forest.
However, one of the terrorist was neutralized during the brief encounter. Items recovered from the fleeing criminals include one locally made pistol, one wooden AK 47 Rifle (used by Boko Haram terrorists for training) and one Boko Haram Terrorists’ flag.
Furthermore, all Boko Haram structures within the enclave including some food items, a makeshift Boko Haram market, thatched houses and locally made irrigation pumps, were destroyed.
In a related development, on 19 January 2020, troops of 29 Task Force Brigade deployed at Benishiek in Kaga LGA of Borno State, in conjunction with elements of Civilian Joint Task Force and Vigilantes launched Operation QUICK BLOW aimed at denying the insurgents freedom of action, opening and securing the major road between Benishiek – Adamamti – Bulamari – Abuja – Ari Dumbari – Jauri Usmanti – Warsala – Borgozo, all in the same LGA for safe and seamless commuting.
Relatedly, troops of Headquarters 7 Division deployed in Maiduguri, Borno State in conjunction with elements of Civilian Joint Task Force and Vigilantes under Operation QUICK BLOW also commenced aggressive clearance operations at Bulabulin, Kirkashima and Ariwuzumari in order to maintain the existing safe conditions for commuters on Maiduguri – Damboa corridor.
In a separate incident, troops of 121 Battalion deployed at Pulka in Gwoza LGA of Borno State successfully cleared an ambush laid by Boko Haram criminals on 18 January 2020 at Warabe, Borno State. In the aftermath of the encounter, 2 Boko Haram criminals were neutralized while several others fled with gunshot wounds under the cloak of darkness.
The troops also captured 2 AK 47 Rifles and 3 refilled rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition among other items.
In another development, the Joint Tactical Team deployed to Borno and Yobe States apprehended a Boko Haram female recruiter, one Zainab Usman at Modu Sulemri area of Abujan Talakawa Ward of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council in Borno State.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is a wife of Alai Usman, a high profile Islamic State West Africa Province logistics supplier. The suspect is believed to be in contact with other high profile Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province Commanders, helping them to recruit young fighters.
Also, on 20 January 2020, troops of 212 Battalion deployed in Auno, Kaga LGA of Borno State in conjunction with elements of Civilian Joint Task Force arrested one Mallam Ahmed Yakuba, a high profile Islamic State West Africa Province informant at a location south of Auno Village. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was born in Niger Republic, grew up in Sudan and has been in Nigeria for the past 15 years.
However, during interrogation, the suspect confessed to being a spy for the Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals on a mission to spy on troops’ location in Auno and other locations along the Maiduguri – Damaturu road.
In another development, on 22 January 2020, troops of 212 Battalion deployed at Gajigana in Magumeri LGA of Borno State arrested a Boko Haram criminal, one Bukar Goni Sanda in Gajigana Village.
During preliminary interrogation, the suspect confessed to having left the Village 2 years ago and joined the Islamic State’s West Africa Province insurgent group where he was trained on weapon handling particularly in pistol, AK 47 Rifle, Rocket Propelled Gun 7 and Anti-Aircraft Guns, at Kangarwa and Damasak forests. He further confessed to have returned to the community in order to spy on troops’ location.
In a similar vein, on 20 January 2020, troops of 21 Special Armoured Brigade deployed at Bama in Borno State, in conjunction with elements of Cameroonian Defence Forces and Civilian Joint Task Force in the ongoing Operation RUFE KOFA, had meeting engagements with Boko Haram criminals during clearance operations conducted to identified insurgents’ hideouts at Abbaram, Nguzuwa 1, Cina and Nguzuwa 2.
Resultantly, troops destroyed all the criminals’ hideouts along the axis, neutralized 5 Boko Haram criminals and recovered one motorcycle, 2 mobile phones, 2 Dane guns, 2 wooden guns, 8 refilled rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, one AK 47 Rifle magazine and 2 locally fabricated magazines. Furthermore, 2 women and 4 children hostages were rescued. The rescued children were instantly administered with the Oral Polio Vaccine by the Army Medical Team in line with the Buratai Intervention Initiative.
Elsewhere in the North West region, on 20 January 2020, the combined troops of 2 Battalion, Forward Operating Bases at Kushaka, Birnin Gwari and Pandogari in Kaduna and Niger States while on Operation MESA, conducted a robust clearance operation against suspected bandits and kidnappers’ hideouts at Dogon Gona in Shiroro LGA of Niger State.
During the operation, troops made contact with a pocket of bandits on motorcycles at Ushana Village. The gallant troops unleashed their superior firepower on them, forcing them to retreat in disarray. Following the encounter, troops neutralized one bandit, recovered one AK 47 Rifle, 3 AK 47 Rifle magazines, 10 round of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 2 mobile hand sets and one motorcycle.
Similarly, on 22 January 2020, troops of 8 Division responded to a distress call about kidnappers holding some victims within the fringes of Zugu forest in Kebbe LGA of Sokoto State. Troops swiftly mobilized to the area. After a brief fire fight, the kidnappers abandoned the 2 kidnapped victims and fled.
The rescued victims have since been reunited with their families. Relatedly, on 21 January 2020, troops of 31 Artillery Brigade under Operation MESA while on clearance operations had meeting engagement with bandits at Dogon Gona in Shiroro LGA of Niger State.
The bandits fled due to the superior firepower of the troops. Nevertheless, troops rescued the 5 kidnapped victims, administered them with First Aid after which they were released to reunite with their families.
The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai wishes to reassure the general public of the Nigerian Armys’ unwavering commitment to ensuring adequate security and enabling environment for a peaceful and prosperous nation.