Military Rescues 178 Captives, Captures One Boko Haram Commander
The Nigerian military, in their ongoing mop-up operations in some parts of Borno State, has rescued 178 people held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists.
The Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Col. Tukur Gusau, disclosed this yesterday, saying that number of those rescued include 101 children and 67 women.
“Sequel to the ongoing operations to clear Boko Haram Terrorists in its area of operations, the troops of 21 Brigade in conjunction with elements of 151 Task Force Battalion of 7 Division, Nigerian Army have conducted offensive operations along Aulari in Bama axis,” Gusau said.
He also revealed that the troops successfully cleared terrorists’ camp in Fadan, Shuwarin, Wulari, Ngoro Dauye, Jidori, Alikashiri, Kalzamari-Shuwa and Kalzamari-Kanuri amongst others.
“During the offensive operations, 178 people held captives by the terrorists were rescued they include 101 children, 67 women and 10 men respectively,” he said.
Also, he added, three Boko Haram flags were recovered while five motor cycles were burnt by the troops.
He further disclosed that “one Boko Haram Terrorists Commander was captured alive and is presently undergoing interrogation.”
In a related development, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in a combined effort with the ground troops of the Nigerian Army have successfully repelled an attack on Bita village by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, said the Air Force, using its Alpha-Jet, provided a combat air support to the ground force to attack the terrorists where they were observed to be mopping up to carry out a deadly attack on the village.
The statement added that a large number of them were killed and several others injured.
It said the NAF A-Jet conducted an armed reconnaissance along Bita-Gwoza road and through Yamtege, Hamdaga, Dure and Pulka.
According to NAF, it will continue to give all necessary support to the ground force through its intensified and persistent efforts in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east until all portions of Nigerian soil is safe and free from the insurgents.
Meanwhile, some of the indigenes of Gwoza, who fled the mountainous town in the wake of its capture late last year have commended the effort of the Nigerian troops in recent times to clear the area of the remnants of the terrorist group.
The military had pushed back the terrorists few months back after it wasoccupied by them for over six months.
But even with the liberation of the town, many who fled during its capture by Boko Haram refused to return for fear that the terrorists might have hidden in the numerous mountains and hills surrounding the town.
Speaking yesterday in Maiduguri, some of the fleeing indigenes of the town in internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in the city, said with the ongoing effort of the military to clear the entire area, “it is not a bad idea after all to return home.”
One of them, Ismael Abubakar, said: “Until now, I have not given it a thought to return back to Gwoza because it is our believe that the insurgents may be hiding in the hills and only waiting for us to come back before they launch another attack.
“But with the news of the air strike in the area, there will be no escape for the insurgents and our hometown can now be cleared of these bad eggs and we can now return home and live in peace.”
An indigene of Pulka, near Gwoza, Blessing Ibrahim, said: “It is an exciting story that our area is been cleared by the Air Force and this is giving us an assurance that we can return home very soon.”