The Nigerian Army says fleeing Boko Haram fighters now hide in foxholes in villages around the North East of the country, as troops regain control over areas that were previous held by the terrorist group.
The acting Director of Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, said, in a statement released on Monday, that nine Boko Haram fighters who tried to hide in foxholes in one of the villages, were dug out, identified, and captured alive by troops from 22 Brigade Garrison on Operation Lafiya Dole.
Three other terrorists who engaged the troops in a gun battle during the operation in the village were killed, Mr. Usman, a colonel, said.
The incident, according to the army, happened on Sunday, and the villages cleared by the troops were Cinga, Mallum Maja, Bosuma and Murye.
Four hundred persons who were held hostage by the terrorists were rescued, Mr. Usman said.
The army spokesman said the troops recovered nine Dane guns, three machetes, one bow with arrows, and six motor cycles. The motor cycles, he said, were used by Boko Haram fighters to ferry slaughtered cow meat to their hideouts.
The army said troops recovered 300 herds of cattle rustled by the terrorists from Fulani herdsmen, and that the cattle have been handed over to their rightful owners.
Other items recovered included one tricycle, four number Tiger generators, and one solar panel.
“It is gratifying to state that we have not sustained any casualty to own troops and equipment, and (that) troops’ morale remained very high,” the statement said.
The army in an earlier statement had called on Boko Haram fighters to lay down their weapons, and surrender to Nigeria’s security forces. The army had assured that those who heed the call would enjoy humane treatment.
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