Defence & SecurityCrimeInsecurity & Crime

How troops killed top terrorists leaders, foot soldiers in Katsina, Borno

By Paul Michael

The Nigerian Armed Forces have in the last two weeks recorded major successes against terrorists and criminal elements that are waging guerrilla warfare against the country.

In a bi-weekly briefing by the Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Benard Onyeuko, at the Defence Headquarters on Thursday, it was disclosed that a high profiled terrorist leader, Alhaji Abdulkareem Lawal (aka Abdulkareem Boss), who has been on the wanted list of the military and about 27 of his foot soldiers were killed after troops struck their hideout on 6th August 2022.

Gen Onyeuko said Lawal was responsible for several terrorists’ attacks, animal rustling and kidnapping in Katsina State.

He said, “Air Component of Operation Haderin Daji on 6 August 2022 carried out successful strikes on key terrorists’ enclave and hideout located at Rudu forest in Katsina State. The air interdiction led to the neutralization of a high-profiled terrorist leader who has been on the wanted list of the military named Alhaji Abdulkareem Lawal (aka Abdulkareem Boss) and his foot soldiers.

“Credible intelligence report revealed that he was responsible for several terrorists’ attacks, animal rustling and kidnapping and was also known to regularly invite terrorists’ groups from other areas and regions to join in the attack on his targets.

“Report gathered from the locals revealed that the terrorists’ leaders were neutralized alongside 27 foot soldiers. All recovered items and apprehended bandits were handed over to the relevant authority for further action.”

In a similar development, a key commander of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), Alhaji Modu (aka Bem Bem), was also killed alongside his fighters in an airstrike carried out on 3rd August 2022.

Gen Onyeuko said a total of 20 terrorists were neutralized following the airstrike at Degbawa near Mandara Mountains in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State.

“Similarly, the air component of Operation HADIN KAI conducted air interdiction on 3 August 2022 at Degbawa near Mandara Mountains in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State. The airstrike led to the neutralization of a key Islamic State of West Africa Province Commander Alhaji Modu (aka Bem Bem) and his fighters. Information gathered from the locals revealed that 20 terrorists were confirmed dead in the strike at the location where the terrorists converged for a meeting before the strike.

“Accordingly, within the weeks in focus troops neutralized 29 terrorists, arrested 55 and rescued 52 civilians. Also, troops recovered 128 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 5 bicycles, 12 AK47 rifles, 4 motorcycles and 5 mobile phones. Accordingly, all surrendered and items recovered have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action,” he said.

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Gen Onyeuko further disclosed that troops in conjunction with Civilian Joint Task Force also arrested Hussain Dungus, Ali Bulama Jidda and Mallam Ali Abuna, who are terrorist logistics suppliers on 6 August 2022 at and Buni Yadi general area.

“Items recovered from the suspects include the sum of One Million Seven Hundred and Ninety-Three Thousand Seven Hundred naira (1,793,700.00) only, large quantity of assorted food stuff, 3 handsets, 2 bicycles and other sundries.

“Consequently, within the week under review, a total of One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-Five (1,755) Boko Haram Terrorists members and their families comprising 280 adult males, 523 adult females and 952 children surrendered to own troops at a different location. All surrendered Boko Haram Terrorist members and their families were profiled and handed over to relevant authority,” he added.

Meanwhile, troops of Operation Safe Haven between 3 and 4 August 2022 arrested 4 notorious kidnappers named Umar Zakari, Usman Hamina, Haruna Umaru and Umar Mohammed at Fuskar Mata village in Bassa Local Government Area of Kaduna State and Qua’anpan Local Government Area of Plateau State.

According to Gen Onyeuko, “The arrested kidnappers confessed to have been involved in a number of kidnapping incidents in Fuskar Mata village and Qua’anpan town, items recovered from the suspects include 1 AK47 and 10 rounds of 7.62mm special.”

“Moreso, troops on 2 August 2022 while on patrol recovered 100 vandalized rail sleepers in an abandoned Peugeot boxer with registration number AGL 466 XM at Bak village in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, troops also rescued 2 kidnapped civilians named Mr Ebuka Nnadi (30yrs old), and Mr Uchenna Edoga (25yrs old) on 4 August 2022 at Kasuwa Ali Gindiri in Mangu Local Government Area in Plateau,” he added.

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