In continuation of the successes recorded by the Nigeria army troops in clearing the remnants of boko haram insurgents/ ISWAP terrorist from the North East 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.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator Colonel AMINU ILIYASU in a statement confirmed that 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.
He said 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 statement added that the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai wishes to reassure the general public of the Nigerian Army’s’ unwavering commitment to ensuring adequate security and enabling environment for a peaceful and prosperous nation.