The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Assessment teams have been dispatched to Yobe and Adamawa to verify the reports on the conduct of security operations in the States.
This is contained in a statement issued by Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday.
The statement said the teams would ascertain the operations of troops since their deployment following President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration of State of Emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe in May.
It said the outcome of the report would be presented for DHQ’s further strategic guidelines for the subsequent phase of the operations.
The statement said the DHQ had noted reports by Aljazeera Television alleging massive civilian casualties in the ongoing security operation against Boko Haram.
“It wishes to point out that the video clip being shown on these Aljazeera reports has no bearing whatsoever on the current reality in the operations areas.
“The footages referred to as civilian casualties were actually pictures of the destruction perpetrated by the terrorists.
“The destruction occurred at the police stations and prisons in Bama, Borno State, on May 7, 2013, when the insurgents attacked the town,” it said.
The statement also said that the soldiers participating in the Special Operation on Boko Haram had remained restricted to operational areas.
“They could not have been available to grant the purported interview shown on the clips. The identity attributed to the interviewee is therefore doubtful.’’
It stressed that the DHQ had alerted the public on the desperate attempts being made or put together to discredit the ongoing, well planned security operations.
“It is unfortunate that the medium of Aljazeera is again being used for this unfortunate design.
“Thus the DHQ once again affirms that there has been no collateral damage to civilian lives and property in the scale presented by Aljazeera since the operation began.’’
It said, “The unfair report must be discountenanced as part of the mischief aimed at undermining Nigeria’s security, territorial integrity and sovereignty by some foreign media and individuals.’’
The statement also said that more of the dirty sides of the Boko Haram insurgents’ life styles were being revealed as troops continue to stumble on strange and bizarre objects such as used and unused condoms.
“Others are charms and amulets of various shapes seen in the captured terrorists’ camps.
“Syringes, test tubes and hand gloves are usually found in the rubbles of most of the destroyed camps.
“Chemicals and materials for producing Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), narcotics of all types are also common features as troops combed through camps in Sambisa forest, New Marte, and others.’’
It added that vehicles and electronics believed to have been stolen from various parts of the country were also found abandoned or destroyed in the camps or the escape routes of the insurgents.
“Most of these items were either destroyed or set on fire as the terrorists fled in different directions.”