The Nigerian Army yesterday said increased raids, clearance patrols, sting operations, cordon and search operations as well as mortar and artillery bombardment of identified insurgents and bandits’ hideouts within the past one week have yielded outcomes as some terrorists have surrendered to troops while several others were neutralized.
In a statement, Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, said troops also intercepted and arrested several Boko Haram suppliers and informants as well as arrested or neutralised some bandits and other criminal elements in the Northwest and other parts of the nation.
He said on November 1, 16 insurgents along with eight of their spouses who could no longer bear the heat from the onslaught surrendered to troops of Sector 1, Multinational Joint Task Force at Fotokol.
Subsequently, they were handed over to troops of 3 Battalion (Main) at Gamboru Ngala, a border town in Borno State.
He said during preliminary interrogation and profiling, they confessed to have actively participated in attacks conducted against both military and civilian targets at various times.
“It was further revealed that 14 of them whose names are; Ibrahim Bunu, Abba Sale, Baba Lamba Alhaji, Bukar Isa, Bukar Ali, Rawa Abba Gana, Mustapha Abatcha, Umar Abubakar, Hassan Bukar, Malam Abatcha Ali, Abba Umar Abatcha, Hussaini Babagana, Idris Mohammed and Umar Abba Bayoma all belonged to the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) led by Al – Barnawi while Hassan Kawu and Babagana Bukar Adijabe belonged to Boko Haram (Abubakar Shekau Faction).
He said the repentant insurgents regretted their participation in the heinous crimes they committed against humanity and are now calling on their former colleagues to retrace their steps and also surrender to troops before it is too late.
He said troops deployed at Gajigana in Magumeri LGA of Borno State intercepted some Boko Haram criminals in the early hours of Tuesday, November 5.
He explained that it is believed that the insurgents were on their way to attack the community to source for food items and other logistics for their survival.
He said troops blocked and neutralised three Boko Haram criminals while several others escaped with gunshot wounds.
He said, “Unfortunately, one soldier paid the supreme price while two others were wounded in action. The wounded soldiers are currently responding to treatment in a military medical facility. “
He said the troops captured two AK-47 rifles, one rocket propelled gun, seven RPGs, five AK-47 magazines, 47 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and some quantities of hard drugs.