By Paul Michael, Defence Editor, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters has said Operation Hadin Kai troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have in the last two weeks carried out a fierce assault on terrorists in Borno state, leading to surrendering of 466 Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and their families, comprising of 120 adult males, 137 adult females and 209 children, claiming to have lost interest in the Boko Haram ideology
According to the Defence Headquarters’ Director of Media Operations, Major General Benard Onyeuko in a bi-weekly briefing on operational activities of the Armed Forces on Thursday at Abuja, troops in the last two weeks also neutralized one Mohammed Yusuf, leader of Rijal Amn Special Forces and 62 other fighters, arrested 86 members of the terrorists, recovered 4 gun trucks, 25 AK47 rifles, 56 magazines with 6.2mm special ammunitions, 78 rounds of different type of ammunitions, 67 packets of rounds on links, 3 FN grenades and 3 bandoliers.
He said: “own troops Operational activities in Bama, Mafa, Dikwa, Gamboru,Gwoza, Banki junction and Kondiya all in Borno State led to the Surrendering of 466 Boko Haram and ISWAP Terrorists and their families, comprising of 120 Adult Males, 137 Adult Females and 209 Children with the claimed to have lost interest in the BHT ideology.
“Relatedly, On 11 Feb the Air Component of OPERATION HADIN KAI carried out air interdiction at Bukar mairam village in Marte Local Government Area, in the process Mohammed Yusuf the leader of Rijal Amn Special Forces was neutralized.
”Cumulatively, the troops within the last 2 weeks, neutralized 63 fighters, arrested 86 members of the terrorists, recovered 4 gun trucks, 25 AK47 rifles, 56 magazines with 6.2mm special ammunitions, 78 rounds of different calibers of ammunitions, 67 packets of rounds on links, 3 FN grenades and 3 bandoliers. Additionally, 20 abducted civilians were rescued by own troops. The surrendered terrorists have been properly documented and handed over to the appropriate authorities for necessary actions.”
General Onyeuko further said the air component of Operation Hadarin Daji conducted air strikes on Boko Haram enclaves at Magama Village, Tsaunin Babare Village and Tsamben Babare Village in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State where a notorious bandit leader, Mallam Dogo Umaru and scores of his foot soldier were neutralized.
“Cumulatively, these operations resulted in the recovery of 10 AK 47 rifles, 100 rounds of 6.2mm ammunitions, 20 motorcycles, 40 herds of rustled cows, 50 rams. Troops also rescued 10 kidnapped civilians, arrested 10 bandits and neutralized 10 bandits. All arrested criminals and recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities,” he said.
In another development, troops of Operation Safe Haven reportedly held a peace submit in Bassa LGA for Irigwe Youths and Fulani Youths on 17 February, 2022.
According to General Onyeuko, “the peace submit was a prelude to the implementation of a peace plan by a committee that worked out modalities towards achieving lasting peace in the area. Accordingly, a total of 1 AK 47 rifle, 2 locally made guns, 4 rustled cows, 1 Toyota Camry car and 1 Mikano generating set were recovered, while 3 cattle rustlers and 2 Kidnappers were arrested.
“Also, a total of 60 displaced person were rescued and taken to shelter. All recovered items and rescued persons have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further actions.”
More so, in clearance operations by Operation Delta Safe in different locations in creeks, villages, towns and communities in Niger Delta and Abia State a total of 1,118,175 litres of illegal AGO and 2,086.000 litres of stolen crude oil, 100 metal storage tanks, 25 dugout pits, 75 cooking ovens, 20 cotonou boats, 35 Yamaha pumping machines, 15 coolants as well as 10 tankers were all recovered.
The troops reportedly destroyed 35 galvanized pipes illegally connected, discovered 38 refining sites and arrested 13 economic saboteurs associated with pipeline vandalization.
This is even as troops of the Operation Thunder Strike/Whirl Punch after painstaking air reconnaissance missions on terrorist enclaves, neutralized about 55 armed bandits/terrorists close to the Nigerian Defence Academy.
Accoding to General Onyeuko, “The armed bandits numbering about 75 engaged ground troops in a fierce battle around Labi general area along the Kaduna – Birnin Gwari road. The bandits came under heavy airstrikes which aided the ground forces to effectively engaged the bandits and neutralized bandits.
“Consequently, the operation resulted in the neutralization of a total of 55 bandits. Similarly, own troops in Agasha in Guma Local government area of Benue State in an encounter with criminals at the Gbekyor general area rescued 10 kidnapped civilians and arrested 3 of the criminal elements.
“Furthermore, troops on clearance operations on 22 February 2022 in Mbayongo area in Katsina Ala local government area came in a contact with bandits terrorizing the area and neutralized 1 bandit, arrested and recovered 2 locally made guns, 1 pistol, 69mm rounds, 7.62mm special.”
General Onyeuko said that all rescued civilians, arrested criminals, and recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further actions.,
While commending frontlines troops of the various theatre of operations for their zeal and commitment in containing the various securities challenges across the country, General Onyeuko solicited the cooperation of citizens across the country in providing useful information in aiding security operations.