The Defence Headquarters has disclosed that more 52 terrorists were neutralised in several encounters with the troops during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
The causalities are beside an unspecified number of the Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP , fighters who were killed in a series of air raids by the Nigerian Air Force war jets that have been targetting insurgents enclaves in some parts of North East, North West and North Central Zones of the country.
Director of Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General Musa Danmadami who made the disclosure during the biweekly briefing said that the encounters occured between December 22 ,2022 to January 12 ,2023.
He said that 377 terrorists including their families surrounded to own troops during the encounters.
He said that troop of Operation HADIN KAI in the North East had sustained and continued to dominate their general areas of operation with series of operational activities.
According to him, “These operational activities were conducted in villages, forest, mountains, towns and cities of Bama, Gwoza, Konduga, Mafa, Monguno, Biu, Kukawa, Damboa, Ngala, Nganzai, Tarmuwa and Magumeri Local Government Areas as well as Maiduguri metropolitan city of Borno State.”
“Operations were also conducted at Nguru, Karasuwa and Gujba Local Government Areas of Yobe State as well as Madagali and Song Local Government Areas of Adamawa State in the North East region of the country”
He said besides denying Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province and their cohorts freedom of actions, the operations was to restore normalcy to the zone.
According to Defence Headquarters, between 23 and 30 December 2022, troops on fighting patrols, ambushed Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists at different locations within the theatre of operation.
In the encounter with the terrorists at Kwatara village in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State, five terrorists were neutralized by troops, while “their administrative head at Guduf identified as Umate Usman was captured with gunshot wounds.”
Troops also had a meeting engagement with terrorists close to their deployment at Ngoshe in Gwoza Local Government Area.
“During the engagement troops neutralized 5 terrorists while other fled. Troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, 20 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 10 rounds of locally fabricated 7.62mm special, 10 refilled ammo, 2 hand grenade among other items.” He said.
Equally, troops made contact with terrorists along Gamboru-Logomani in Ngala Local Government Area and neutralized 3 terrorists while other fled with gunshot wounds.
Troops exploited the area and “recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 1 FN rifle, 1 RPppqG tube and bomb, 94 rounds of 7.62mm belted NATO, 66 rounds of 7.62mm special, 30 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition and 6 motorcycles”
Danmadami said that following an encounter with terrorists at Bulge village in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, troops neutralized 4 terrorists while other fled. Troops recovered 2 PKT machine guns, 2 FN rifles, 15 rounds of 7.62mm NATO and a belt link containing 60 rounds of 7.62 x 51mm ammunition.
Air component of Operation HADIN KAI conducted series of air interdiction operations at terrorists hideout, enclaves and camps at Suwa, Arina Woje and Amchile in Marte Local Government Area of Borno State.
According to Danmadami, battle damage assessment of air strikes carried out on December 22, 2022 in Borno state revealed that several terrorists were neutralized with their structures destroyed.
He said similar feat was achieved in air interdiction operation at Mazuri in Southern Lake Chad region and Gabchari located in Gazuwa area of Borno State on January 7, 2023.
The Director said that a good number of terrorists who relocated to the area following recent flooding of the Tunbuns in the Lake and the current infighting between the terrorist factions were targets in the raid.