About 38 ISWAP terrorists have met their deaths as the Nigerian troops in operational theatres intensified offensive to end terrorism and banditry activities in the North East of the country, the Defence authorities have said.
The feat was recorded in two weeks, between the period September 8 and September 22. The military high authorities said the success was attained by the troops in the various theatre of operations, adding, the troops conducted several kinetic and non-kinetic operations with significant results recorded.
Briefing the media on feat, the Director of Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General Musa Danmadami on Thursday in Abuja said troops neutralized 36 terrorists while 368 surrendered in North East.
He further said that the troops recovered N537 million stolen crude oil, arrested 21 vandals in the South South zone of the country. Also, in the period under review the troops rescued 130 civilians.
The spokesman gave the rundown as follows:
NORTH EAST ZONE
Troops of Operation HADIN KAI theatre of operation have sustained aggressive operations to deny terrorists further freedom of action. In furtherance to this, troops conducted fighting patrols, ambushes and clearance operations at communities, villages and towns in Kukawa, Monguno, Kaga, Dikwa, Biu, Damboa, Gwoza, Mafa, Konguda, Bama and Guzamala Local Government Areas all in Borno State. Of significant was the neutralization of 2 key Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province commander on the 12th and 15th September 2022 identified as Abu Asiya and Abu Ubaida (A Qaid) at Parisu and Sheruri general area in Sambisa forest respectively.
Consequently, within the period in review, troops neutralized 36 terrorists, rescued 130 civilians and arrested 46 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists as well as 12 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province logistic suppliers. Furthermore, 21 AK47 rifles, 163 rounds of 7.62mm special, 2 RPG bombs, 25 dane guns, 4 unexplosive ordinance store, 2 bandoliers, 10 solar panels, 23 bicycles, 10 motorcycles, 1 tricycle, 19 cell phones, 28 torch lights, bags of assorted grains, 122 rustled sheep, and the sum of N203,125.00 were recovered among other items. Equally, a total of 368 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province criminals and their families comprises of 53 adult males, 116 adult females and 214 children surrendered to own troops at different locations in the theatre. All recovered items, rescued civilians and apprehended suspected terrorists were handed over to the relevant authority for further action while surrendered Boko Haram Terrorists and their families are being profiled for further action.
In a related development, the air component of Operation HADIN KAI on 9 September 2022 while acting on credible intelligence conducted air interdiction operation at Somalia in Sambisa Forest and bombarded a terrorist critical facility. The air strike inflicted deadly casualty on the terrorists as feedback revealed that several of the terrorists were neutralized while several structures were destroyed after the strike. Similar operation was carried out on terrorist enclaves at Abdallari, Mafa, Zanari and Tumbun Baba between 10 and 14 September 2022, the airstrikes led to the neutralization of several terrorists with several of their structures destroyed in the strikes.
NORTH CENTRAL ZONE
As part of non kinetic approach in resolving lingering security challenges in the Plateau, the Commander of the Special Task Force Operation SAFE HAVEN on 10 September 2022 at its Headquarters in Jos declared open a 26 man joint peace committee summit led by Justice Daniel Longji (Rtd) to sensitize communities in the Plateau State on the need for peaceful coexistence.
Also, on 16 September 2022, following report on activities of the outlawed cultist group known as Sara Suka boys, troops in conjunction with vigilantes carried out raid operation in their hideout at Rikkos and Nassarawa in Jos Local Government Area of Plateau State and arrested 6 suspects. Items recovered, include 3 locally fabricated rifles, 5 mobile phones, 4 hammers, 5 cutlasses, 6 knives, 1 fragmental jacket among others. All arrested suspects and recovered items were handed over to the relevant authority for further action.
Furthermore, the air component of Operation WHIRL PUNCH continued the onslaught against terrorists, as an air interdiction operation was carried out on 8 September 2022 at an identified terrorists hideout at Gaude in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State. Intelligence report confirmed that the location was usually used by the terrorists for planning their nefarious activities. It was further revealed that all the attacks around Shiroro were orchestrated from this location and consequently, the hideout was bombarded. Feedback, revealed that several terrorists were neutralized with others fleeing with various degrees of injuries. Also, 2 suspected gun runners enroute Onitsha to Abuja were arrested by personnel of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency along Okene-Lokoja road in Kogi State. Items recovered from the suspects were 12 pump action guns and 374 cartridges. The arrested suspects and recovered items were handed over to the Nigerian Police for further action.
NORTH WEST ZONE
Troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have continued to intensify offensive actions against terrorists and other criminal elements in their operational environment. On 15 September 2022, troops arrested 2 suspected terrorists collaborators at Access Bank, PZ Branch in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State while trying to withdraw the sum of Fourteen Million Naira (14,000,000.00) deposited into the account of one Alhaji Abubakar a suspected terrorist financier. Troops also conducted operational activities in villages, communities and towns in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna State in the North West zone of the Country. During the operations troops neutralized 16 suspected terrorists and arrested 10 notorious terrorists at different locations in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. While, 5 AK47 rifles, 10 rounds of 7.62mm special, 17 mobile phones, 2 motorcycles, 3 locally made rifles, 3 pairs of woodland camouflage, 118 rustled sheep, 4 boafeng radio and N29,250.00 cash among other items were recovered, while 21 civilians were rescued. All recovered items, arrested terrorists and rescued civilians were handed over to relevant authority for further action.
Furthermore, the air component of Operation HADARIN DAJI on 13 Sep 2022 conducted air interdiction operation at identified terrorist hideout in Dutse Babare in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State. The air strike led to the neutralization of a terrorist leader identified as Ibrahim Dangawo and other members of his gang. Similar, operation was carried out at Gidan Guga in Faskari Local Government Area also in Katsina State, at an identified terrorist enclave. The airstrike led to the neutralization of a terrorist kingpin known as Babaru who has been on the wanted list of security agents. Equally, another major feat was recorded with the neutralization of large number of terrorists at Kawari axis in Dan Musa Local Government Area of Katsina State. It was revealed that the terrorists group has been responsible for the kidnapping and robbing of people in that general area. Reports, revealed that scores of terrorists were neutralized in the air attack.
SOUTH SOUTH ZONE
Troops of Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE theatre of operation have continued to sustain offensive actions against oil thieves and economic saboteurs through its kinetic operations towards denying the criminal elements freedom of action to create a conducive environment for economic activities in the Joint Operation Area to thrive. Accordingly, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE conducted patrol, raids, clearance and swamp buggy operations in the creeks, villages, communities and towns in Dleta, Bayelsa and Rivers State. Consequently, within the weeks in focus, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP discovered and destroyed several illegal refining sites, 17 wooden boats, 103 storage tanks, 94 ovens and 58 dugout pits. Troops also recovered 10 trucks, 1 generator, 1 tanker, 2 vehicles, 8 pumping machines, arrested 17 pipelines vandals while a total of Seven Thousand Eight Hundred and Five (7,805) Barrels of crude oil and Two Thousand Six Hundred and Thirteen (2,613) Barrels of Automotive Gas Oil were recovered. In addition, a total of One Hundred and Thirty Four Million, Six Hundred and Seventy Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Five Naira and Seventy Two Kobo (N134,670,255.72) of Automotive Gas Oil and Four Hundred and Two Million Four Hundred and Nineteen Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty Six Naira Four Kobo (N402,419,846.04) were denied the oil thieve. Accordingly, a total approximated value of product denied oil thieves within the period under review was Five Hundred and Thirty Seven Million Ninety Thousand One Hundred and Two Naira (N537,090,102.12)
Similarly, between 9 and 13 September 2022 troops raided suspected criminal hideouts at Okpokumu community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State and Iduodah community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State and arrested 4 suspected armed robbers. Items recovered from the suspects include 2 G3 rifles, 1 locally made pump action gun, 1 locally made pistol, 3 G3 magazine, 3 AK47 magazines, 280 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 780 rounds of 7.62mm special, MMG metal links, 2 boafeng radios. Others items recovered are 5 pairs of military camouflages, 6 pairs of desert boots, some Nigerian currency notes and large quantities of items suspected to be hard drugs. The arrested suspects and items recovered have been handed over to the relevant authority for further action.
SOUTH EAST ZONE
Troops in conjunction with other security agents have sustained the offensive and raid operation against the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminal activities and other criminal elements in the zone. Notably, on 17 September 2022, troops in a coordinate joint operation with the Nigerian Police and operatives of the Department of State Security Service conducted offensive operation at a identified criminal camp at Orsumoghu forest in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State. During the encounter troops neutralized 2 criminals and recovered 4 Improvised Explosive Devices, 4 locally fabricated RPGs, 1 pump action rifle, 5 dane guns, 1 short gun, 1 pistol, 34 rounds of 7.62mm special, 5 vehicles, 7 motorcycles, among others. Troops also conducted operational activities in Imo, Enugu State and Abia States at criminal hideouts and camps. Consequently, from these operations, troops recovered 4 Improvised Explosive Devices, 4 locally fabricated RPGs, 1 pump action rifle, 4 pistols, 4 AK47 rifles, 10 motorcycles, 50 rounds of 7.62mm special and 7 dane guns among others. Troops also arrested 5 suspected criminals and neutralized 4. All recovered items, and arrested criminals were handed over to relevant authority for further action.
SOUTH WEST ZONE
Troops of Operation AWATSE have continued to sustain aggressive patrols and raid operations to curb the menace of smugglers of contraband goods and other criminal elements in the zone. Accordingly, troops of Operation AWATSE in the conduct of Operation SWIFT RESPONSE and Operation TRIPARTITE JOINT BORDER PATROL conducted operational activities at Rounda road in Lafenwa Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Ijebu Ode-Ibadan road, Sango Ota, Idiroko, in Ewekoro Local Government Area and Yewa Local Government Area of Ogun State. Other locations include Owode Apa Lagoon, Akarakumo waterways in Badagry Local Government Area and Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos Stat as well as Arogbo Ijaw in Ese Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State and Agbaruru bush path in Iwajowa Local Government Area of Oyo State respectively. Notably, the Maritime component of Operation AWATSE on 12 September 2022 arrested 2 child trafficking criminals with 2 passenger boats loaded with 13 teenage girls suspected to be victims of child trafficking around Akarakumo waterways in Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Equally, troops in conjunction with the Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on 18 September 2022 raided a suspected drug barons residence at Solebo Estate, Ipakodo in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State during the operation troops arrested 4 suspected drug barons and a foreign national with 1,855kg of substance, suspected to be cocaine worth about Two Hundred and Seventy Eight Million Dollars ($278,250,000.00) equivalent of about N184,700,000,000.00 Cumulatively, within the weeks in focus, troops recovered 1,953 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 212 jerrycans of 30 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 2 vehicles, 2 wooden boats and 1 motorcycle as well as arrested 3 suspected smugglers. Furthermore, operatives of the Nigerian Custom Services along Ijebu Ode-Ibadan road in Ijebu Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State, intercepted a truck containing 20 drums of calcium carbide and 41 pairs of military camouflage. All recovered items were handed over to the Nigerian Custom Services while the arrested 2 passenger boats with the 13 teenage girls and the 2 suspected traffickers were handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service for further action.
On a final note, I wish to convey the military high command commendations on the troops efforts in the various theatres of operation across the Country. The media community is also acknowledged for their partnership and continued cooperation with the military and other security agencies, in our quest to return peace to our dear Country. Also, the entire populace are hereby appreciated, for the support given to the Armed Forces and security agencies in the conduct of our operations, while also urging them to continue to provide prompt and creditable information on the activities of enemies of our beloved nation, in their respective locality.