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Buratai says Army kills 1,015 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in Northeast in 7 weeks

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai on Sunday said that the Nigerian Army has eliminated over 1,015 Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in different encounters in the Northeast region of the country in the last seven weeks (between April 4, 2020 till date).

General Buratai said when he hosted the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole to Eid-El-Fitr luncheon at Military Control and Command Centre in Maiduguri, that the terrorists were killed his since his arrival in the Theatre to lead the troops under Operation KANTANA JIMLA, within the period under review.

Buratai said that some of the notable encounters since the commencement of the Operation include that of Buni Gari, Gaidam, Minok, Dapchi, Baga, Dikwa, Awulari, Ajiri, Pulka, Ngoshe, Alafa and different parts of Sambisa Forest as well as Gajiganna.

He explained that the Artillery’s airstrike and blockage operations conducted by troops at the Tumbuktu Triangles around Sambisa Forest has been greatly successful.

Saying that troops succeeded in dislodging major camps of the terrorists at Mungusum, Gajirin, Talala, Buk, and Malumti among others under the operation, the Army Chief stated that “hundreds of terrorists’ fighters have been neutralized in the different camps as confirmed by the Force and captured terrorists while trying to escape the operations. Many more hundreds have been injured and are hiding in the forest with serious wounds.

“This explains why the terrorist have resulted to desperate attacks on towns and villages such as Babangida, Dapchi searching for medical supplies and other logistics to treat their injured colleagues, who are dying like foul in the forest. Overall, since my arrival here in the Northeast on the 4th of April this year, you gallery troops of operation Lafiya Dole have neutralized over 1,015 Boko Haram terrorists.

“Also, you have impressively maintain the blockage of Boko Haram logistics supply chains and freedom of movement within the Tumbuktu Triangles. In a like manner, the Nigerian Army Intelligence Corps has impressively been organised and its operations has greatly improved.”

For example, he noted, the Chief of Military Intelligence Team, through covert Operations, have arrested 84 Boko Haram/ISWAP logistics suppliers, informants and couriers and that this has greatly disrupted their logistics supply chain and communication network, thereby tightening the blockage around them.

“It is also gratifying to note that officers and men of the Nigerian Army, fighting in close support with the combatant personnel of the Nigeria Navy Special Force Services and the gallant pilots of the Nigerian Air Force, have consistently disrupted the terrorists’ moves and done well in neutralizing them,” he said

Stating that the troops have also sustained “some casualties” while others sustained injuries while executing the operations, Buratai said: “We pray for the departed souls even as you continue to look after injured ones to the best available standard.”

He charged the troops to “collectively match ahead without fear, put ahead without hesitation, strike ahead without holding back, to end the war and secure the country once and for all.”

The Army Chief added: “Like all other sectors in the country, the Nigerian army has its own share of some Challenges. This inadequacies of recent times has further compounded by the global lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has to some extend delayed the arrival and delivery of some of our much needed military equipment.

“However, our good foresight as exemplified in the investment in the local production of the Ezegwu, Concoror and the Champion Mrap, alongside other notable efforts that are profiting some of our old equipment by the Command Engineering Depot and the Special Vehicle Plant and the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria, have assisted in sustaining our operations thus far. We have also embarked on special recruitment sub commissioning exercise to carter for our manpower challenges.

“We are restructuring our forces to enable them fight better within the dictates of the new asymmetric warfare we are encountering today. In this regards, in the four Special Forces Command, we have trained Special Brigades and Special Forces Battalions, which have been established. Two of these battalions recently completed the Special Forces training and have been inducted into this Theatre.

“It is expected that the effects of their specialized training and modes of operations would be felt across the Theatre in the days to come. Therefore, what remained is our collective efforts as a nation and as officers and men to make good use of this platforms to end insurgency and other forms of criminalities across the country. The Nigerian army on it part remained focused in dealing with the insurgency and other forms of criminalities in the country and will not allow itself to be distracted from unpatriotic elements in the society.”

In his remarks, Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, acknowledged the tremendous success recorded by the Nigerian military during the last two months and prayed to God to give the troops more strength, wisdom, courage, long life and productivity to fight the insurgency.

Zulum expressed appreciation “to those that are here and to the COAS, and other high ranking military officers for the enormous support that you have been rendering toward protecting the lives and property of the displaced communities of Borno State.

He noted that the security architecture has to be motivated for greater efficiency and productivity, and pledged his administration commitment toward supporting the military to succeed in the counter terrorism campaign.

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