By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Defence Headquarters claimed Nigerian troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) have eliminated 134 Boko Haram terrorists and arrested 16 informants in Borno.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
Enenche said the success was recorded in the ongoing subsidiary operation in the North East Theatre of Operation code-named ‘Operation Kantana Jimlan.
He said the operation, being conducted as part of the conclusive phase of OPLD, was already recording monumental successes.
According to him, the operation is being conducted preparatory to the final routing of BHT/ISWAP criminals from the Nigerian territory by the troops of OPLD.
He said the operation was coordinated by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, adding that it has intensified on various fronts especially within the Timbuktu triangle.
Enenche added that the operation had left the criminal elements and their leadership in complete disarray and thus setting the conditions for the commencement of the final assault on their enclaves and hideouts.
“Several BHT/ISWAP targets were acquired and engaged with precision by Nigerian Army Artillery Regiments across the entire theatre thus delivering accurate fire on the criminals who were seen fleeing in disarray.
“In a coordinated artillery bombardments on Timbuktu triangle conducted on May 1 and 2, seven Boko Haram Gun Trucks were destroyed while 78 BHT/ISWAP fighters were killed as confirmed by both aerial and human intelligence.
“Within the same period, another successful artillery engagement to Buk in Damboa Local Government Area resulted in the neutralisation of an additional 56 BHT criminals.
“Acting on intelligence that a large number of BHT members were converging at the location, the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army Artillery Regiments acquired and engaged the location with deadly precision, inflicting heavy casualties on them.
“As confirmed by our intelligence sources, only a handful of the terrorists escaped the location with gun shot wounds, with little chances of survival,” he said.
Enenche further explained that 16 high profile Boko Haram informants fell into the troops’ dragnet within the last two weeks.
He said that the arrest of such high profile informants had significantly dislocated the terrorists’ information and supply chains and equally dislocating their communication.
According to him, as the gallant troops continue to overwhelm the criminal elements on all fronts, it is quite apparent that the days of the criminal elements called Boko Haram are indeed numbered.
“Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Buratai, who has been in the Theatre with the troops for the past five weeks congratulated the gallant troops for their resilience, courage and dedication to the noble cause of defending our fatherland against the criminal elements.
“He further urged them to remain focused and ruthless as they take the fight to the fleeing remnants of the enemies of our nation.
“The general public is hereby encouraged to provide credible information to our troops as the Nigerian military remains resolute in tackling the security challenges of the country,” he said