Troops of the Nigeria military have rescued a total of 1,127 persons, including women and children being held under the captivity of Boko Haram insurgents from different parts of the Lake Chad region.
The spokesman of the counterinsurgency efforts in the northeast Nigeria, otherwise known as Operation Lafiya Dole, Onyema Nwachukwu, gave this information in a statement issued on Tuesday.
The statement indicated that troops under the Operation Deep Punch ii, a sub-component of the Lafiya Dole, carried out several raid operations that led to the death of 35 Boko Haram fighters.
He said the troops had also recorded a large harvest of arms cache.
His statement reads in full:
“Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have continued to maintain the momentum in the ongoing Operation Deep Punch II to seek out and clear Boko Haram insurgents from enclaves in the northern fringes of the Lake Chad Islands and the Sambisa region.
“Yesterday Monday 26 February 2018, combined troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and the Cameroonian Defence Forces, in a clearance operation, took the battle to the terrorists in their enclaves at Kusha-Kucha, Surdewala, Alkanerik, Magdewerne and Mayen villages, all situated along the Nigerian – Cameroonian border. In the fierce offensives, the gallant troops killed 33 Boko Haram insurgents and destroyed 15 locally fabricated rifles captured from them.
“The troops also destroyed 4 Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), several motorcycles and bicycles belonging to the insurgents. 603 civilians held hostage by the insurgents were also rescued and conveyed to Bäma and Pulka towns, where they are currently being profiled before subsequent handover to IDP camp officials.
“Relatedly, as the clearance operations progressed, the combined troops tracked the insurgents to Bokko, Daushe and Gava villages, where they unleashed another attack on the fleeing insurgents, killing 2 of them in the fire fight and recovering one AK 47 rifle, a magazine, a trolley and unspecified quantity of premium motor spirit in Jerry cans. The troops also extricated 194 civilians held captive by the insurgents and destroyed makeshift accommodations erected by the insurgents.
“Additionally, the combined troops successfully cleared Miyanti and Wudila villages, where they rescued 3 men, 121 women and 209 children. The rescued persons are undergoing profiling, preparatory to their handover to appropriate IDP camps.
“Meanwhile, troops carrying out clearance operations from the Sabil Huda axis of the Sambisa forest have recovered a cache of arms and tools from Boko Haram insurgents’ enclave in the Sabil Huda area of the Sambisa. The munitions recovered include 3 Browny Machine Guns, two 81mm Mortar tubes, one 81mm Mortar tripod, one 60 mm Commando Mortar tube, twelve 40mm AGL cartridge , 5 AK 47 rifles ,1 sniper rifle, 3 Pistols with one magazine loaded with four 9mm rounds, one damaged pump action rifle, 2 damaged G3 rifles, 1 Tear gas riflel, 2 Sub Machine Guns, 5 xG3 Magazines, 4 locally made rockets, 28 working parts of various weapons, 28 barrels of various weapons, 3 Browny Machine Gun bipods , 2 Anti Aircraft Gun Barrels, 12 Anti Aircraft Gun tripods, 8 Tool boxes, one welding machine, one Hayab crane, Assorted ammunition links, one packet of electrode and one power generator.
“Troops remain highly motivated in continuing with the operations to locate and clear Boko Haram insurgents from their hideouts”.