By Paul Michael, Defence Editor, Abuja
In a bid to end terrorism around the Lake Chad Basin (LCB ), the officers of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) have arrested some suspects fishing and farming around terrorist camps belonging to Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
A statement by Lt Col Kamarudeen Adegoke, Chief of Military Public Information Office, said troops of Operation Hadin Kai/MNJTF commenced aggressive clearance from Monguno on 17 May, 2022 and have so far cleared the settlements of Grada, Kwatan Maishayi, Daban Karfe, Daban Gajere, Tumbun Buhari, Tunbun Abuja, Sabon Tunbu , Ali Sherifti , Doron Naira and Daban Masara among others.
He explained that troops did not come in contact with any terrorists in the camps, however, 30 young men who claimed to be fishermen and farmers in the areas were arrested.
He said, “No contact was made with the criminals who ran away from these enclaves in a bid to avoid being sent to account to God for their heinous crimes.
“Items found include packed fish in cartons, fish being prepared, assorted grains, household items and a lone motorcycle.
“In line with MNJTF SOP for operations, the enemy camps were destroyed and items were properly burnt.
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“About 30 young men who claimed to be fishermen and farmers were arrested in the general area of Doron Naira and are being profiled and interrogated to ascertain their culpability or otherwise.”
Lt Col Adegoke also added that troops of Task Force Mallam Fatori comprising of Nigerien and Nigerian troops from the MNJTF firm Base in Arege carried out clearance operations to the general areas of Ali Jimari, Dogon Chuku and Tunbum Rago from May 17, 2022.
“Troops sighted some motorcycles and an old Hilux Toyota van suspected to be Boko Haram/ ISWAP criminals, a hot pursuit led them to the location where the criminals ran away and abandoned the items. The 2 motorcycles and the old Hilux Toyota van were burnt in the location.
“Similarly, in a separate incident, a young Fulani girl named Salamatu, aged about 12 was found by this Task Force team wandering in the bush, she claimed to be from Darge Kessa Village in Abadam LGA.
“After necessary profiling, she will be handed over to the relevant authority for further action,” he added.
According to him, “The FC MNJTF, Gen Abdul Khalifah has sent his words of encouragement to this Task Force through the Commander Sector 3 MNJTF, Major General GM Mutkut who is personally leading this operation and urged them to remain focused and alert.
“He reminded them of their obligation to respect the laws of armed conflict but that should not detract them from being lethal and ruthless on the enemy. He equally appreciates the untiring efforts of the MNJTF/ OP Hadin Kai Air Components for their efforts. The operations are ongoing.”
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