Soldiers engage terrorists in shootout in Borno
From Ikenna Emewu, Molly Kilete, Abuja and Sola Ojo, Kaduna
THE Nigerian Army has destroyed remaining Boko Haram camps and enclaves around Alagarno and Sambisa forests.
On Tuesday, troops of 81 Battalion and 251 Task Force Battalion patrol team, cleared Boko Haram camps located at Komala, Dole, Kumshi and Moadori around the fringes of Alagarno forest.
The troops killed two Boko Haram members and captured another two; Mustapha Busuru (50 years old) and Usman Abubakar (56 years old) at Dole village.
The army also brought down all Boko Haram terrorist flags hoisted in the villages and destroyed them. They also recovered two Toyota pick-up vans, 40 motorcycles, Improvised Explosives Making Devices (IEDs), stockpile of foodstuffs and fuel dump.
The patrol team also recovered horses and donkeys used for transportation by Boko Haram
In response to a distress call of an attack by Boko Haram on Kuda Village along Butuku Road, troops of 143 Battalion swung into action. Unfortunately, the terrorists fled after setting the village on fire which led to the death of an elderly woman.
The escaped insurgents allegedly regrouped and attempted to cross through Magar Bridge but, they were pre-empted by elements of the battalion who killed two members and wounded several others.
Three soldiers and four locals sustained injuries, while the troops recovered one Toyota Buffalo vehicle mounted with an Anti-Aircraft Gun with registration number 081375, one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) with registration number 132042, a loaded G3 rifle magazine and 30 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunitions link.
Both military and wounded civilians are receiving treatment at the unit’s Regimental Aid Post.
In Kaduna, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant- General Tukur Buratai commanded his men fighting insurgents in the North-east to hold liberated territories and consolidate on successes already recorded.
The army boss further stated that renewed efforts to clear remnants of Boko Haram members in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States are also in top gear. He disclosed that the insurgents are now mixing with civilian populace thereby making the process a bit slow and difficult.
Buratai, who stated this at the inauguration of United States of America (USA) training assistance to selected units of the army, held at Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI), Jaji in Kaduna added that onslaught against the terrorist group by combined forces of the NA and Nigerian Air Force in past months has degraded their capability.
“All that is required is the bold action from our troops to hold liberated territories. “As you are aware, the security challenges that have confronted the Nigerian Army in contemporary times are remarkably different from the ones we have in the past.
“So, I implore you to work hard towards achieving the goals of this training. I am confident the US training team with the support of the Commandant and In structors of NASI are prepared to give you the highest quality of instruction. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and special guest of honour at the inauguration, General Abayomi Olonisakin , noted that the partnership between the US Army and Nigerian armed forces is strategically borne out of shared commitment to counter terrorism and violent extremism.
In his remarks, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, emphasised the need for other nations to join hands with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, as Nigeria cannot do it alone.
About 250 soldiers from 145 Battalion of NA are participating in the first phase of the training scheduled to end in 12 weeks.
Meanwhile, soldiers on counter-insurgency war in the North east were said to have killed dozens of Boko Haram members after they laid ambush for them at one of their crossing points around Sambisa.
The soldiers were said to have laid the ambush in one of their strongholds at Kamala and Musafanari area of Borno state.
During the shootout, several terrorists were killed while others fled with gunshot wounds. The soldiers recovered one AK-47, riffle, six motorcycles, two bags, assorted food items and various Improvised Explosive Making Devices (IEDs).
A statement by the Acting director of army public relations, Col. Sani Usman said “the recovered items clearly shows that the terrorists were out for a nefarious mission which was aborted by the timely ambushes.”
Usman noted that the offensive against the terrorist group was still ongoing.