Facts have emerged of how gallant troops of the Nigerian military crushed Boko Haram terrorists and recovered Marte Local Government of Borno State, over a week after it was captured by the extremist group
The Nigerian Army had on Tuesday announced the recovery of the local government and other communities recently captured by the terrorists.
This was disclosed by Army Spokesperson, Mohammed Yerima, in a statement circulated to the media.
PREMIUM TIMES has now obtained details of how the military executed the operation that left the terrorists scampering out of the town.
According to details exclusively obtained by this paper, troops of the 402 Special Forces Brigade, in conjunction with 22 Brigade of the Army, advanced to Marti Local Government at about 8 am on February 23.
Hours later, at about 2 pm, as the troops marched closer to Marte, the troops encountered no fewer than nine improvised explosive devices at the fringes of the town which were safely detonated by the detachment’s Explosive Ordinance Devices team.
Our sources said as the troops entered the town, the Boko Haram terrorists launched a vicious attack, shooting sporadically. But the Nigerian troops stood their ground and decisively repelled the offensive.
The exchange of gunfire lasted hours culminating in the killing of at least 19 terrorists, with several others fleeing with gunshot wounds.
As the terrorists fled, the soldiers erupted in songs of celebration.
Amongst items recovered from the terrorists were seven AK 47 rifles, two anti-aircraft guns mounted on Hilux vans. Two gun trucks belonging to the Boko Haram sect were also destroyed in the battle.
“The general security situation in Marte and environs is now calm but fluid,” a military insider told PREMIUM TIMES. “Troops morale and fighting efficiency remain satisfactory.”
The Marte Assault
PREMIUM TIMES had exclusively reported on February 17 that at least seven soldiers died as Boko Haram dislodged the 53 Task Force Battalion stationed in the town.
The unit was then temporarily moved to Dikwa as the military strategised to chase out the terrorists.
But on Tuesday, Army spokesperson, Mohammed Yerima, said the town had been recovered in collaboration with the Nigerian Airforce.
He said the troops killed some of the terrorists and destroyed improvised explosive devices (IED), land mines and other dangerous equipment.
“Troops of Nigerian Army troops this afternoon, around 3 pm, recovered New Marte and adjoining communities from the devilish Boko Haram terrorists,” Mr Yerima said. “This is coming less than the 48 hours directive earlier given to the troops to recover the town by the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru.
“The troops backed by air cover from the Nigerian Air Force, successfully charged through Marte town, destroying several Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) and landmines laced across their routes and killing scores of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists and successfully recovered the town.“
“The gallant troops are currently in total control of the general area,” the statement said.
The Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria has caused over 37,500 deaths since 2011, according to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs.
An estimated 2.5 million people are also believed to have been displaced from the country`s North-east states and the Lake Chad Basin, with at least 244,000 of them now refugees in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
The Nigerian military has been able to limit the activities of the terror group to the three North-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
However, the group still carries out deadly attacks on civilian and military targets in those three states.
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