The Nigerian Army has said 28 fleeing members of Boko Haram and the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) as well as their families had surrendered to troops of 151 Task Force Battalion under 21 Special Brigade in Borno State.
The development comes as the Theatre Commander (TC) Joint Task Force North East Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), Major General Christopher Musa, charged troops in the theatre of operations to dominate their areas of responsibility against Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists (ISWAP) in order to ensure total return of normalcy and peace to the northeast.
An army statement said the terrorists, who were fleeing intense aerial and artillery bombardment surrendered to troops after sustained interdiction.
It said the terrorists and their families were taken in at the outskirts of Aza and Bula Daloye villages in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State by troops of the battalion on fighting patrol at Miyanti and Darajamel.
“The arrested suspects comprised of 11 adult male terrorists, five adult females and 12 children. The troops also recovered 27 rounds of 7.62 mm (special) ammunition, three AK 47 rifle magazines and a black fragmental Jacket from the suspects,” the statement stated, adding that the suspected terrorists were undergoing preliminary investigations.
In a separate operation on July 17, 2021, troops of 7 Division Garrison in conjunction with Civilian Joint Task Force, acting on credible intelligence tracked and arrested Boko Haram informants and logistics suppliers, during a cordon and search operation in Lawanti and Gongolun Communities of Jere Local Government area of Borno State.
During preliminary investigations, the suspects confessed to have been working as informants for the terrorists, whom they provide with information on troops’ movements, locations, deployments, strength, calibre of weapons and other activities.
They also admitted to supplying terrorists with basic logistics for their daily survival, ranging from Petroleum Oil and Lubricant (POL), drugs, mosquito nets, kolanuts, recharge cards and food stuff.
The suspects disclosed that they were remunerated by the terrorists with proceeds made from selling dismantled old motorcycle parts to dealers in order to fund their purchases.
According to the statement, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya, commended the proactiveness of the troops in the ongoing clearance operations. and charged them to maintain the tempo and ensure that the terrorists were smoked out of their enclaves.
Meanwhile, Musa, who charged troops in the theatre of operations to dominate their areas of responsibility against terrorists gave the charge during his visit to troops of Sector 3 in an effort to appraise ongoing operational activities as well as motivate troops of 68 Battalion and 5 Brigade deployed in the frontlines at Mallan Fatori and Damasak respectively.
The visit was in continuation of his familiarisation and operational tour of troops’ deployment at the frontlines in the North-east theatre.
Musa, who was briefed on the operational engagements, logistics and challenges of the battalion by the Commanding Officer, Lt Col. Victor Ashinze, appreciated the troops for their selfless sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
He tasked them to be more resilient and steadfast in the conduct of their operations, noting that as border towns between Nigeria and Niger Republics, the locations were strategic and must therefore be dominated by the troops.
He assured the troops of the determination of the Chief of Army Staff to ensure all requisite logistics and support for a successful conduct of the ongoing counter insurgency war were provided.
The commander further advised the troops to remain focused, disciplined and conduct themselves professionally.
He also visited and commiserated with wounded-in-action troops, who were receiving medical attention.
Musa was accompanied on the visit by Commander, Sector 3, Brigadier General Godwin Mutkut and other principal staff officers from the theatre headquarters.