Nigeria’s army, Friday, said it has repelled an attack from Boko Haram militants in the town of Gwoza, Borno State, in the north-east.
An army statement said that in the two-hour fight, which started in the early hours of the morning, seven Boko Haram fighters were killed and weapons were captured.
It added that “the desperate attack today was a failed attempt to project an image of strength”.
Gwoza was at one point declared by Boko Haram as the capital of the caliphate that it wanted to create in northern Nigeria.
Meanwhile, troops of the 28 Task Force Brigade, backed by close air support by the Nigerian Air Force, have rescued 61 persons abducted and held captive by the insurgents along Bitta and Damboa axis.
The troops also in the process, cleared Boko Haram terrorists’ camps at Modupe 1, 2 and 3.
A statement by Col. Sani Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, said: “The rescued persons were mainly women and children and have since been evacuated” while four terrorists were killed in the operation.
“The fight against Boko Haram terrorists is continuing to maintain its momentum with the discovery and destruction of terrorists’ camps, weapons and equipment, while the terrorists have been fleeing, and abandoning their bases.
“In 25 Task Force Brigade’s area of responsibility, the troops were able to clear Boko Haram terrorist’s camps at Nwalemer, Mallemiri and Bale. Similarly in Gwoza axis, troops of 26 Task Force Brigade have also destroyed terrorist’s camps in Tripkwopta and Gidan Gachi yesterday.
“The troops, however, encountered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) buried along their route of advance near Balazalla Dure that partially affected one of the leading vehicles. The troops also encountered an abandoned truck loaded with IEDs at Uvole village, which was blown up by them. The troops also recovered two dane guns in the Bitta and Gwoza area after an encounter with the terrorists at Langaran Fulani and also killed four terrorists, arrested one.
“The public are hereby reassures that the Nigerian Army remains committed to its obligation to Nigerians. This is being demonstrated daily by the personal presence of the army leadership with the forward troops. It is reinforced by the manifest desire and zeal of the rank and file down to the last rifle man to discharge their responsibility for the restoration and maintenance of peace as well as the safeguarding of the safety and security of the citizenry in the North East.
“Consequently, Nigerians are hereby advised to go about their legitimate duties and show understanding for security checks and procedures put in place to frustrate the evil intents of the terrorists. Nigerian Army troops in all locations are in high spirits and doing their best to ensure expeditious defeat of the Boko Haram terrorists.”