The Peacekeeping Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri, Borno state said at least two soldiers and 52 Boko Haram militants were killed last night during a raid of terrorists hideout.
This was coming hours after Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, left the city yesterday.
The operation which took place in the central part of Maiduguri called Jajeri, zeroed in on an expansive fenced compound where the Boko Haram appeared to be using as an armoury.
Military Spokesman, Lt Col Sagir Musa, said three vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns were recovered at the hideout located in the centre of Maiduguri, not quite 5km away from the city’s airport.
The anti-aircraft guns, according to military gun experts ‘are capable of bringing down any kind of aircraft, including the presidential jet’.
According to Lt Col Musa the incident occurred at about 8pm yesterday, 8 February 2013…’when there was exchange of fire between the resisting Boko Haram gunmen and soldiers which led to the death of 52 Boko Haram militants including ten commanders of the sect…The JTF lost two personnel and three were wounded..’
He said they recovered from the hideout, ‘3 Anti Aircraft Guns, 10 Rocket Propelled Grenades Tubes, 3 General Purpose Machine Gun, 17 AK47 Rifles, 3 G-3 Rifles, 11, 068 rounds of Assorted Ammunitions, 3 Technical vehicles with mounted anti aircraft stands’ and other cache of smaller arms and explosives coupling kits.
The hideout was an empty expansive building that appeared to be an armoury of the sect.
Lt Col Sagir said, the recovery of ‘3 vehicle mounted anti-aircraft guns, 17 AK47 rifles and 11,068 assorted Ammunitions was unprecedented since the peacekeeping mission of JTF commenced in the past 16 months’.
Soldiers said there decision to lock down the city during the visit of President Jonathan had paid of as the Boko Haram terrorists would have effectively utilised the cache of lethal weaponry to mar the presidential visit to the volatile states of Borno and Yobe.