The Nigerian Army said it had killed a total of 40 Boko Haram insurgents, arrested 18 and rescued about 230 victims during combat in Sambisa forest in the last one month.
Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, disclosed this on Wednesday at a press conference at the Command Control Center, Maiduguri.
Attahiru also said that ten insurgents surrendered within the period under review.
He said that the Theatre had recorded many successes against the insurgents following concerted efforts of troops in the newly-launched Operation DEEP PUNCH 2 and Operation RUWAN WUTA in Sambisa forest.
He explained that the two operations focused on coordinated aerial bombardments by the air and artillery platforms supported by land operations to decimate the insurgents.
The commander said that the Mobile Strike Teams (MSTs) inaugurated in August had steadily gained momentum and had continued to ensure that the Main Supply Routes (MSRs) were adequately patrolled and secured on a daily basis.
He said the operations had enhanced safety of commuters as well as ensured the gradual return of economic activities in some affected rural communities.
“Some of the operations led to the killing of two key Boko Haram commanders, Abdu Kawuri and Abubakar Benishek, in a successful operation on Sept. 1 at Alafa in Bama Local Government Area.
“Additionally, a prominent Commander, Ba’abba Ibrahim, and two other commanders died after sustaining injuries during their last encounter with our Special Forces in an ambush at Magumeri council.
“In another encounter, our troops had repelled an attack on IDPs camp at Banki. The attack followed discreet insurgents’ infiltration into the area through the Nigeria – Cameroun border.
“The fire fight between our troops and the insurgents resulted in the death of two insurgents and caused others to flee. Unfortunately, eleven IDPs were killed and two others were wounded in the process,” Attahiru said
He said that in the chaos that ensued, four IDPs were also reported missing.
“Search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched in a concerted effort to locate the missing IDPs while the wounded civilians were evacuated for medical treatment,”he said.
The commander said that the the troops also nabbed 18 Boko Haram terrorists and their collaborators after they infiltrated into IDPs camp and that the suspects were currently undergoing investigation.
He also said that six members of the Civiliam Joint Task Force were killed in a bomb attack on IDPs camp in Ngala.
Attahiru further said that during the period under review, troops foiled several suicide and other forms of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks, “thereby causing the adversary to drown in its own blood”.
“I want to reassure you that Boko Haram will finally be brought to its knees in no distant time as troops had conducted precursor operations and other offensives geared toward their final defeat.
On ambush operations, The Theartre Commander said troops had denied the insurgents any freedom of action through its ambushes along Road Ngurosoye – Bama near Borno State College of Basic Studies (BOCOBS) and Mararaba Kirawa.
“Also, on Sept. 12, 17 own troops successfully sprung an ambush against insurgents using the Firgi crossing point in Bama Local Government Area to access the Sambisa forest.
“The ambush was extended to Mallam Gonare where 2 Boko Haram terrorists were killed. Troops also recovered unexploded ordnance and 7.62 mm ammunition during the operation.
“In the same vein, on Sept. 12, 17, troops ambushed fleeing elements along Road Ngoshe – Bokko Kugile and killed one of the insurgents.
“Troops also recovered 3 bicycles, 2 wrist watches, 2 SIM cards and the sum of N1, 140.
“Similarly, on Sep.14 17, our troops in conjunction with vigilantes sprung ambush against insurgents around Lokodisa in Gwoza Local Government Area.
“One terrorist was killed while others fled with gunshot wounds. Troops also recovered one AK 47 rifle, 117 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition, 14 rounds of 21mm, 7 bicycles, one trolley, a machete and 2 jerry cans.