By Chimezie Godfrey
The Continuous onslaught by the Nigerian Military between September and October has resulted in the killing of 75 Boko Haram/ ISWAP terrorists, destruction of criminal hideouts, and recovery of large cache of arms and ammunitions.
A statement by the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters Abuja, Brig. Gen. Benard Onyeuko has revealed.
According to him, in recent months troops of Operation Fire Ball a subsidiary operation under Operation Lafia Dole has recorded tremendous success in their efforts in clearing the remnants of the Boko Haram/ISWAP criminals.
He said,”Sequel to the commencement of Operation FIRE BALL, a subsidiary operation under Operation LAFIYA DOLE which is meant to clear the remnants of the Boko Haram/ Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists from their identified enclaves in the North East region.
“The Operation has recorded tremendous successes within the short period from its existence with the last week of the preceding month proving to be the deadliest against the criminals.
“The troops in the various Sectors of the Theatre have continued to carry out their tasks relentlessly.
“The successes so far achieved wouldn’t have been possible without the sacrifice, commitment, and gallantry exhibited by the well-motivated troops some of whom have paid the supreme sacrifice. Within this period, the troops have carried out aggressive clearance operations, ambushes, robust day and night patrols in order to finally decimate the remnants of the Boko Haram/ISWAP criminals.
“Consequently, as a result of the aggressive offensive action carried out by the troops, several terrorist elements have been neutralized as large numbers of their equipment were captured while some were equally destroyed in the process.
“In this regard, a total of 75 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists were neutralized within this period. In terms of the criminals’ equipment 4 x Gun Trucks, 1 x Bedford Truck, 3 x Anti Aircraft guns, were destroyed”.
Onyeuko mentioned that the captured weapons include: 6 x Gun Trucks, 4 x Anti Aircraft guns, 1x PKT gun, 4 x General Purpose Machine Guns,1 x Automatic Grenade Launcher, 1 x Dushka Gun, 1 x Light Machine Gun, 48 x AK 47 Rifles, 1x Locally made Pistol and 10 x AK 47 magazines.
He further disclosed that a large cache of ammunition was captured which include, 1 x 36 Hand Grenade, 567 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 448 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, and 50 x Rocket Propelled Grenade bombs.
Others were 17 locally manufactured rounds, 3 shells for making Improvised Explosive Device, 1 x Smoke Grenade, and 2 x belts of PKT rounds. Other assorted non-lethal items were also captured from the criminals.
Onyeuko however regrettably revealed that one officer and 2 gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while 4 other soldiers were wounded in action over the period.
According to him, the wounded soldiers have since been evacuated to a military medical facility and are currently responding to treatment.
Onyeuko commended the troops for their resilience, doggednes and commitment exhibited since the beginning of the Operation.
He equally encouraged them not to rest on their oars but build on the successes recorded so far.
He assured the entire populace of the North East region of the Nigerian military high command’s determination to finally rout the remnants of BHT/ISWAP criminals from their enclaves in this zone.