The Armed Forces of Nigeria may have started the process of denying Boko Haram/ Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists room for operations as they successfully repelled the terrorists attack on Jakana and preventing them from mounting a barricade on Damaturu-Maiduguri highway, all in Borno State.
Also, airstrikes by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on four ISWAP terrorists’ camps in Abadam, Borno State, killing scores of them. The airstrikes, conducted on Saturday, targeted the four major ISWAP hideouts at Madayi, Arge and Arijallamari in Abadam Local Government Area.
Operation Lafiya Dole’s Air Task Force, 199 and 198 Special Forces Battalion as well as the Artillery Fire Units of Sectors 3, Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) were actively involved in the success of the operation.
On the Sunday morning operation, the terrorists had stormed the areas around Mainok and Jakana towns by firing machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades from gun trucks but the soldiers engaged them, especially as they tried to mount road barricades and attack travelers. The terrorists were overpowered and driven away by Nigerian troops.
Jakana is 25 kilometres (15 miles) from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State and lies on a notorious crossing route for ISWAP terrorists moving between their camps in the Benisheikh forest area of Borno and their hideouts in the Buni Yadi area of Yobe.
The terrorists, who had repeatedly attacked the community and military base in Jakana, always appeared in military uniforms, mounting roadblocks to kidnap commuters along the axis.
A military source said that the incident happened shortly after the usual daily road closure was eased in the morning. Normally, troops usually close the on Damaturu-Maiduguri highway in the evening and open it at 7am daily.
The source noted that the prompt response from Nigerian Air Force (NAF) jets assisted helped the ground troops in repelling the terrorists quickly.
According to it, “the terrorist group had attempted to overrun the town to loot food items and drugs and also to invade a military formation to loot arms and ammunition.
“The prompt response from the air taskforce saved the situation as some of the terrorists met their Waterloo in superior gunpower from the gallant troops. Meanwhile, the ground troops have commenced a clearance operation of the area.”
A source who was plying the road said: “We were on our way to Maiduguri after spending the night in Damaturu when we were stopped by soldiers at a place after Mainok. We were earlier asked to turn back and later we were told to stay there. Shots were later fired ahead of us, which sounded like gunfire exchange. We were asked to proceed after about thirty five minutes.”
There were more re-enforcements of patrols along the road which has become notorious for the spate of attacks and kidnapping by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.
A source, speaking on the successfully coordinated ground and aerial attacks on the four ISWAP camps in Abadam, noted that several weapons and gun trucks were destroyed.
Said the source: “The locations attacked by our troops were used by the terrorists in coordinating attacks on Marte, Dikwa and Geidam local government areas in Borno and Yobe States.
“A ground assessment revealed that a number of ISWAP unit commanders and high-value fighters were also eliminated during the air raid.”