No fewer than 188 members of the Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) terror groups and 411 bandits have been killed by troops in the last one month, The Nation has learnt.
The terrorists and other criminal elements were killed in various operations conducted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria across the country.
In a statement by the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, 236 victims, including women and children were rescued from the terrorists’ dens within the time under review.
According to the statement, “the Armed Forces of Nigeria is conducting major operations across the country as you are aware. In this regard, regular update of our efforts and progress need to be disseminated for the awareness of the general public. I am to state that these joint operations by the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force and other security agencies have considerably degraded the common enemies of Nigeria and reduced economic sabotage”.
It stated further that, “troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria operating in various theatres across the Country recorded tremendous successes within the period under review. In Operation Lafiya Dole, several members of the Boko Haram Terrorists/ISWAP (BHT) fighters and senior commanders were neutralized and their logistics facilities, gun trucks and other structures destroyed as well as recovery of weapons.
“Within the period under review, a total of 188 BHT/ISWAP fighters were killed and several others suffered various degrees of gunshot wounds with narrow chances of survival. This is in addition to several others killed in air bombardments. The troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE also rescued several civilians – women and children, who were abducted by the terrorists. The total number rescued within this period is 236. The victims have undergone medical checkups and treatments at our health facilities”.
The statement continued that, “troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have in various clearance operations neutralized 392 armed bandits and destroyed some of their dwellings and logistics warehouses within the period under review at Dunya, Abu Radde’s Camp and Ibrahim Mai Bai’s Camp in Jibia and Danmusa Local Government Areas of Katsina State as well as Maikomi and Kurmin Kurain Birnin Magaji and Zurmi Local Government Areas of Zamfara State.
“This is in addition to several others killed by air bombardments. Also, the air interdiction led to destruction of several logistics facilities and compounds, housing some key bandits’ leaders. Human intelligence report confirmed the casualty figures.
“In Operation WHIRL PUNCH during the period under review, 19 armed bandits were killed in Benue and Taraba States. The gallant troops also carried out a raid operation on a criminal hideout off Zaki Biam and Katsina-Ala highway where a notorious armed robber Terugwa Igbagwa alias Orjondu was killed. Troops also recovered large cache of arms and ammunition within the period under review.
“The killing of Orjondu has brought a great relief to the good people of Benue State and some parts of Taraba State. He was the mastermind of various civilian deaths including kidnapping and assassinations. Equally, notorious militia leader Gana narrowly escaped with injuries when his hideout was raided”.
Outlining the achievements recorded in Maritime operations within the time under review, the statement noted that. “the Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER Patrol Team, on 26 May 20, conducted Anti-Crude oil theft/anti-illegal bunkering operations around Briakiri off Onne and Abise community off Abonema Akukutoru Local Government Area of Rivers state.
“During the operations, the team located two illegal refining sites with 4 storage tanks laden with estimated 400,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO. The products were impounded while two pumping machines were recovered to the base. No arrest was made as the perpetrators fled on sighting the patrol team.
“In the same vein, Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA, on 25 May 20, intercepted a wooden boat and a speed boat around Ilaopashe, Bennett island and Lokpobri communities in Warri and Burutu South Local Government Areas of Delta State. The team located 4 illegal refining sites with 14 dug-out pits, 32 surface metal storage tanks and 43 ovens laden with about 628.98 barrels of suspected stolen crude oil as well as 72,000.00 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO. Likewise the team located a 3-inch pipe and associated fittings close to NPDC pipeline around Bennett Island, suspected to have been laid by crude oil thieves.
“Subsequently, the team disconnected the pipes and fittings. The storage facilities were dismantled while the speed boat was recovered to the base.
“Similarly, the Forward Operating Base IBAKA on 26 May 2020 while on routine patrol around Ewang Creek intercepted and arrested a medium size wooden boat laden with drums of products suspected to be stolen PMS with 2 suspects. Suspects and items recovered from the arrest include 49,000.00 litres of products suspected to be stolen PMS. The suspects are currently undergoing investigation and will soon be handed over to the relevant prosecuting agency. Furthermore, within the period under review, the Nigerian Navy in furtherance of its quest to secure our Exclusive Economic Zone, and the Gulf of Guinea rescued a Chinese fishing trawler HAILUFENG 11, rescued 18 crewed and arrested 10 sea pirates.
“In summary, the Armed Forces of Nigeria from 6 to 28 May 2020 neutralized 188 BHT/ISWAP criminals in the North East, killed 392 bandits in the North West and 20 bandits/armed militia in the North Central parts of the Country amongst other successes recorded. Suffice it to say that human and technical intelligence confirmed that between 6 to 28 May several BHT/ISWAP criminals as well as bandits/armed militia were killed due to our ground and air offensives”.
“Thus, the Military High Command congratulates all the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country.
“It equally appreciates the general public for providing credible information that facilitated the successes of various operations. Furthermore, it enjoins the public to be proactive in the provision of timely information by reporting suspicious movements and strangers within their locality to military operations headquarters in their areas. The Armed Forces of Nigeria assures that the offensives against the enemies of this great Nation will not cease until peace is restored to every troubled region of the Country”.