TROOPS OF 7 DIVISION SECTOR 1 OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE NEUTRALISE 18 BOKO HARAM CRIMINALS, RESCUE 72 WOMEN AND CHILDREN FROM BHTS’ CAPTIVITY, CAPTURE LOGISTICS SUPPLIERS AND RECOVER SEVERAL WEAPONS
In their efforts to defeat terrorism in the North East, toops of 7 Division Sector 1 Operation LAFIYA DOLE had continued to sustain offensive operations in the ongoing operation KANTANA JIMLAN within the Sector Area of Operations.
Projecting ahead on the successes so far recorded in the Sector, the dogged troops of 144 Battalion in a well planned ambush operation on 4 May 2020 at about 0230hours (2:30am), dealt a decisive blow on BHT/ISWAP Criminals along Visik high grounds. The troops engaged the criminals in a heavy fire fight which forced them to abandon some stolen items and fled in dissaray through the Mandara mountains with severe gunshot wounds and unconfirmed number of the terrorists met their waterloo in the process.
While the ambush operations were been conducted, another ambush team of the same 144 Battalion had at about 0400hours (4am), based on credible information indicating some activities of BHTs and their collaborators/ logistics supplies led the gallant troops to successfully intercept and apprehend the criminals in a 3 canter trucks loaded with 1300 Jerricans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) enroute Kamale. The suspects have been transferred to Headquarters 7 Division Military Intelligence Brigade for detailed investigation.
Similarly, on 4 May 2020, the gallant troops of 82 Division Task Force Battalion deployed at the Strong Response Area Ngoshe near the Nigeria – Cameroon borders of 26 Task Force Brigade conducted an offensive fighting patrol along Agapalwa general Area. The troops came in contact with BHTs’ Logistics elements and after fierce battle, four of the terrorists were neutralised while others fled with gunshot wounds abandoning their push-cart with assorted grains and other food items.
Additionally, on 5 May 2020, at about 0435hours (4:35am) troops of 271 Task Force Tank Battalion Michika, deployed along road Mubi- Kamale intercepted some BHTs marauders trying to smuggle 2 brand new Bajaj Motor Cycle possibly to Kamale in order to aid the planned attack of the BHTs operating within the area. The terrorists abandoned the motorcycles and fled on sighting own troops.
Following the event at road Mubi-Kamale, on 7 May 2020 at about 2350hours (1150pm) BHTs launched 4 Motar Bombs from Uvaha high ground into own troops Defensive location at Limankara. Consequently, troops returned fire towards the terrorists which resulted in the death of three suicide bombers that attempted to infiltrate the same camp.
Unfortunately, two soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice due to the bomb launched into their trenches, while two others sustained injuries.
Similarly, two civilians also lost their lives as a result of the bombs explosion which landed on their house. Two vigilantes also sustained injuries.
Despite several BHTs failed attempts to gain grounds in Sector 1 AOR, the troops had continued to sustain and maintain offensive against the criminals as troops of 152 Bn in Army Super Camp Bama on 7 May 2020 at about 1930hours (7:30pm) dealt a big blow on BHTs’ convoy mounted on 1 Mowag and unconfirmed number of Gun trucks and Motorcycles. In that encounter, three soldiers sustained injuries but are in stable condition, while three suicide bombers were neutralized while attempting to infiltrate troops’ location.
In the same vein, troops of 151 Battalion while on ambush operation at Firgi BHTs’ crossing point on 9 May 2020, at about 0045hours (1245am) came in contact with terrorists. After a fierce encounter four BHTs were neutralised while several others escaped with fatal injuries. Items recovered during the encounter include 2 AK47 rifles, 1x fully loaded magazine of 30 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, locally fabricated ammunition, 1 x motorcycle and 4 x bicycles
Also, troops of 3 Battalion (Main) Army Super Camp 11 Gamboru Ngala while on long range fighting patrol and clearance operation, had successfully cleared Fuye and Melere villages and later advanced to Ndufu and Muktu villages where they noticed visible BHTs activities which were effectively destroyed by the troops. Troops advanced to Muktu village where contact was made with the crouching terrorists which led to the death of four terrorists and the capture of eight locally made guns, one dane gun, one BHTs’ flag and Islamic books were also recovered.Troops also rescued 72 civilians from BHTs’ Captivity comprising of thirty four (34) women and thirty eight (38) children. The rescued children were subsequently vaccinated with polio vaccine at a military medical facility before they were handed over to IDP Camp officials.
In summary, within the period under review, about 18 BHTs criminals were neutralized while many escaped with gunshot wounds. A total of 72 women and children in BHTs captivity were rescued. Arms and ammunition, logistics supplies and other equipment were captured, while BHTs smugglers /collaborators were also captured.
While Applauding the troops for their commitment and the successes recorded so far, the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen TY Buratai has directed all the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE across the North East Theatre of Operation to redouble their efforts to ensure the speedy defeat of the terrorists soon.