JTF Rounds up Shekau’s In-Law, Discovers Mass Grave in Soak Away


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It seems the Federal Government is trying to tighten the ropes around the leadership of the dreaded Boko Haram Sect with Operatives of the Joint Task Force claiming to having made a breakthrough  in the campaign against terrorism by arresting in-laws of the  Boko Haram leader, Sheik Abubakar Shekau.

This which was made known when The Defence Spokesman, Brig. Gen Chris Olukolade, gave a  press briefing in Abuja on Monday.

Olukolade however did not give the names of Shekau’s in-laws, whom he said were arrested during a cordon and search operation in Bulabulin area  of  Maiduguri last week.

Apart from more corpses found   in a soak-away  in the area, underground tunnels and bunkers as well as high calibre weapons were discovered by the operatives.

He said, “Troops on cordon and search operations in Bulabulin area in Maiduguri last week discovered a vast network of underground tunnels connecting houses and many bunkers some which have the capacity to accommodate over 100 persons.

“More corpses were also discovered in a soak-away.  Various weapons were found in the same area.   Abubakar Shekau’s in-laws were picked up in the raid in which various audio recordings of terrorists messages were also discovered.

“Recovery is made almost on a daily basis as the operation progresses. The recovery, among others, includes  eight AK47 assault rifles, one  G-3 rifle, nine  AK-47 magazines, one  Rocket Propelled Grenade charger, and five  Rocket Propelled Grenade.

“Three  FMC magazine, one  G3 magazine, 14 IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices)  and 166 rounds of 7.62mm Special  had also been recovered.  Others are, three 35mm Bazooka; 34 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, 1,740 rounds of 303 inch, 10 rounds of 7.62 NATO, one  round of .50mm, one  dane gun, one  locally-made pistol and two  megaphones.”

He stated also that  one of the top commanders of   Boko Haram believed to be   the Amir of Bulabulin Nganaram, was killed in one of the raids  in  Bulabulin, Nganaram, Aljajeri and Faluja areas of Maiduguri.

Olukolade added  that the   reduction in the spate of bombings in places outside the North- East  indicated clearly that security operatives were winning the war against terrorism in spite of the  attacks by the sect on  soft targets.

He explained that the improved security situation was responsible for the decision to ensure a phased restoration of telecommunications services in states under emergency rule starting with Adamawa.

Olukolade pointed out that  the cordon and search operations were  largely successful due to  the cooperation of indigenes of the area and special  dogs used to aid the  efforts.

He said, “A number of terrorists have been apprehended by the Special Forces.  Many of them have also died in battle with the forces.  Various resources, including trained military police dogs facilitated the arrest of insurgents who tried to infiltrate the cities after being dislodged from their bases at the outset of the operations.

“Cordon and Search Operations have started enjoying tremendous cooperation of locals.  Several terrorists, including their foreign members are being tracked down.  Key terrorists, especially those in the cadre of Amiras well as those helping in their renewed mobilisation and recruitment of minors are being hunted.”

On the controversy over  Al-Mustapha’s fate in the Army, the Defence Headquarters argued that since the former Chief Security Officer to the late maximum dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha,   was neither dismissed nor sacked   during  the years of his trial, he remained a  serving officer of the Army.

“With regard to Maj Hamza  Al-Mustapha’s release, I want to confirm that he is still in the army and the case is going to be handled by the Army administratively  in line with the Harmonised Terms and conditions of service, ” the Chief of Staff to the Director of Army Public Relations, Col. John Agim, said during  the briefing.

Al-Mustapha’ spent over a decade in detention for allegedly being the  mastermind  of the  killing of the wife of the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the  late Chief Moshood Abiola


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