The Theatre Commander, ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, Major General Lucky Irabor has said that the troops will soon embark on massive demining and clearance of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that were planted majorly on farmlands by remnants of Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East geo-political zone of the country.
The Theater Commander said, this became necessary as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari has purchased enough machines and equipment for demining IEDs which have been shipped into the country and planted by the terrorists.
The Theatre Commander disclosed this during a press briefing held Friday at the Media Centre of the ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ in Maiduguri while updating Journalists on the ongoing operations by troops against remnants of the Boko Haram sect in the last one month.
Although he said with determination and commitment on the side of troops, many people particularly the displaced farmers have started going back to their liberated communities, there are still some ‘No go Areas’ in parts of Sambisa Forest where farmlands needed to be demined and cleared of IEDs hitherto planted by insurgents, and promised that as soon as the equipment arrived the theatre command, all the identified farmlands will be cleared and declared safe for farmers in the region.
On the ongoing operations, Irabor said, “On 23rd July 2016 at about 0530hrs, own troops sprung an ambush against the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) elements between KOMALA and MUSAFANARI villages. Some BHT elements on motorcycles and bicycles were engaged while trying to cross SAMBISA Forest. Consequently, 2 BHTs were killed while several items were recovered which include 2 AK47 rifles, 4 loaded AK47 magazines, assorted food items, laundry items, a motorcycle, 2 bicycles and assorted clothing.
“Similarly, on 28th July 2016 at about 0700hrs, own troops conducted a clearing operation in SHUWARI 1 and the adjoining villages. The villages were successfully cleared and all BHT structures were destroyed. In all, five BHTs were killed while a dane gun and a bicycle were recovered. Also, some food items which were found in several houses were destroyed. Additionally, 13 suspected hostages comprised of a man, six women and six children were rescued,” Irabor said.
Likewise, in an ambush operation, troops at PULKA community of Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno state Crossing Point killed some terrorists, while many escaped with gunshot wounds.
Among the items recovered according to the theatre Commander were one AK47 rifle, a General Purpose Machine Gun, a bicycle, a motorcycle, several live ammunitions, a TECNO phone with Nexttel SIM card and food items in sacks.
Continuing he said, “On 29th July 2016 at about 1830hrs, own troops embarked on an ambush operation to a suspected BHT Crossing Point off DAMBOA – KUBWA road towards MULTE village axis. As troops laid in wait, some BHT elements on bicycles appeared and were accordingly engaged. Consequently, one BHT was killed. Items recovered include an AK47 rifle with 14 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, a Dane gun (shaped like an AK47 rifle), a locally fabricated double barrel pistol and 4 bicycles.
“On Cordon and Search Operations and following an intelligence report that large quantity of arms and ammo were being moved into areas in outskirts of GAMBORU for a possible BHT attempt to retake GAMBORU and RANN Local Government Areas of Borno state, own troops conducted a dawn cordon and search operations around GAMBORU town. A total of three AK56 and two AK-L rifles were recovered. Also, 235 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and 7 AK magazines were recovered,” Irabor stated.
Furthermore he said, on 1 August 2016 at about 2000hrs, own troops in response to a distress call at YAURI village. Own troops came in contact with some BHT elements and engaged them. As a result of the operation, 5 BHT were killed and several items were recovered which included 2 AK47 rifle, a General Purpose Machine Gun, a 60mm mortar tube, an FN rifle, 2 Dane guns, 2 AK47 magazines and 2 FN magazines. Others were 131 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 31 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, a 60mm mortar bomb, 10 bicycles and a sum of N31, 275.00.
Irabor also confirmed Boko Haram attack on Troops Location in Kangarwa which took place on 15th August, where he said, troops repelled the attack and killed 16 BHT, adding that 11 x AK 47 rifles, one 60mm mortar, one RPG tube, one RPG Bomb, 12 x 60mm bombs, one hand grenade 5 x magazines and one handset and bandoliers were recovered from the terrorists.
Meanwhile, on the recent video released by BHT through the social media, the Theatre Commander stated that all the attacks shown in the video were archival materials gathered by the BHT over a long time.
“The incidents were in those days that BHT lived in illusion. Currently, they have lost initiative and have been routed. The video is an elusive attempt to recruit support. I therefore implore you all to inform the public to be rest assured that there is no cause for alarm as far as the degradation of BHT capabilities is concerned.
“These are confused bad elements of the society who are suffering from shock of total defeat from the military. As you all know, these are mere BHT propaganda which could not hold any water. Let me once again use this medium to remind the remnants of BHT that their days are numbered because their future is going to be disastrous if they fail to surrender and lay down their arms,” Irabor concluded.