From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri
Theater Commander of Operation Lfiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Nicholas Rogers yesterday said no fewer than 186 suspected members of the Boko Haram sect were killed in various operations in Sambisa Forest and shores of Lake Chad in the past half month.
Major Gen. Rogers dropped the hint while briefing newsmen on the successes recorded by the theater in the ongoing counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism in the North-east.
Similarly, the theater commander said that hundreds of insurgents were either captured or surrendered to the troops.
He added that during the period under review, over 3,000 civilians abducted by the group were rescued and taken to several camps for the Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs).
“The ongoing operations by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, intensified by artillery and aerial bombardments of identified BHT enclaves through coordinated close support of the Air Task Force, has yielded positive results, aside decimating the ranks of the insurgents. Several insurgents are realizing the futility of the struggle and are now abandoning the group by surrendering to our troops. In these operations, 750 insurgents surrendered to troops in the general area of Monguno, while 63 insurgents surrendered in the Damboa and Chibok areas. Ninety insurgents equally surrendered to Cameroon Defence Forces. A total of 167 insurgents were captured by troops during the operations”.
“The intensity of the operations also resulted in the surrendering of about 250 insurgents to the Nigerien.The period under review has been characterised by heavy artillery and aerial bombardments culminating in a series of ground offensives to clear identified Boko Haram enclaves in the Islands of the Lake Chad, also known as the “Tumbus” and Camp Zairo in the Sambisa. In these operations, many insurgents have been killed, others have fled for safety, while some others surrendered to our troops and allies in the Multinational Joint Task Force. Many other insurgents who escaped from the onslaught also took advantage of the AMNESTY offered by the Nigerien Government to surrender to Nigerien Defence Forces”, Maj. Gen. Rogers declared.
“Close air support provided by the Air Task Force and Artillery bombardments were further reinforced by ground troops with blocking forces that denied the insurgents freedom of action and access to logistics, thereby canalizing them to Camp Zairo in the Sambisa.
Troops are also tracking and hunting down the fleeing insurgents with fighting patrols and ambushes”
“Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole sustained precursor operations to clear BHT enclaves in the fringes and identified islands of the Lake Chad area with devastating consequences on the adversary. These precursor operations dovetailed into Operation DEEP PUNCH II; a major coordinated Land, Maritime and Air operations to rout out the insurgents from their enclaves in the Lake Chad Islands otherwise known as the “Tumbus”. Long range fighting patrols have also continued to trail and seek out BHT hideouts as well as protect liberated areas from fleeing and prowling BHT elements. I will expatiate on some of these operations as this press briefing unfolds,” he added.