Many terrorist have been killed in air strike targeted at Sambisa Forest and Gwoza, it was learnt yesterday.
Sambisa is believed to be Boko Haram’s biggest hideout. Gwoza in Adamawa was seized by the sect, which abducted many policemen from the Police Training School in the town. The Defence Headquarters said hundreds of the terrorists were fleeing.
But ground troops were yet to be mobilised to the forest and Gwoza for strategic reasons.
The fleeing insurgents were said to have stormed a village and killed many residents.
Top on the mission of troops was the search for the 219 Chibok girls whose abduction on April 14, last year has embarrassed the Federal Government.
It was learnt that the air strikes were video taped.
The video may be shown to Nigerians later, the military said.
Defence Information Director Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade gave insights into the operation in a statement in Abuja.
The statement said: “A concerted air campaign by the Nigerian Air Force is ongoing in furtherance of the mission to clear terrorists from all their enclaves.
“The air strikes which today targeted the training camps and logistics dumps of the terrorists in Sambisa forests and parts of Gwoza have been highly successful as it achieved the aims with required precision.
“The death of a large number of terrorists has been recorded while many others are also scampering all over the forest and out of the struck bases. Details of casualty will be determined in subsequent phases of the operation.
“Meanwhile, the strikes continue in other locations of the theatre heralding the advance of troops and other elements of the mission.”
A military source said: “We are getting to the critical leg of the military campaign against Boko Haram insurgents. This is why military officers from the ranks of Brigadier-General and Colonel are leading the onslaught against the insurgents.
“The air strikes on Sambisa and Gwoza were also simultaneously video recorded by troops for Nigerians to appreciate their campaign.”
On the fate of Chibok girls, the military source said: “We have placed priority on the search for these girls in our mission to Sambisa Forest and Gwoza.
“As we conduct air strikes, we are trying to locate where the girls are kept in order to liberate them. This is one of the reasons why ground troops have not moved in.
“You know, Sambisa and Gwoza are the two main strongholds of Boko Haram. Once these towns are recaptured by troops, the end of the insurgency has come.”
Another military source said: “The insurgents have started fleeing Sambisa Forest and Gwoza but there is no more hiding place for them.
“They have become frustrated to the extent that while fleeing, they stormed a village in anger and slaughtered everyone around.”
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