Nigeria’s military has confirmed that it is currently engaged in a fierce battle with Boko Haram insurgents who have been unleashing terror in the North Eastern part of the country. The Defence Headquarters admitted that it lost soldiers in the encounters while some terrorists were also killed.
In a statement issued, yesterday, by the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, the Defence Headquarters said that civilians had been evacuated from the battle ground before commencing the operation.
According to the statement, “the air operations to clear terrorists bases sited in Daggu and Yazza areas of Borno State during the weekend have registered the expected results in the ongoing campaign against terror. The mopping up operation by ground forces after air assault has confirmed the death of several terrorists located in the bases. Civilians had earlier been evacuated from the vicinity of the identified terrorist enclaves in line with operation orders before the air and land assaults. Extensive cordon and search of the entire locality is ongoing with a view to apprehending the wounded and other members of the terrorists group who might still be trying to flee.
“Also yesterday, troops in pursuit of those who carried out attack in Buni Yadi last week, had fierce encounter with the terrorists around Mainok and other locations between Apa and Abulum in Borno State. The air and land operations that ensued recorded the death of some terrorists. Soldiers also died in the encounters”.
The statement added that, “suspects who are believed to have been responsible for detonating the bomb that exploded at Bintu Sugar Ngamari area of Maiduguri yesterday (Saturday) killing many citizens and wounding several others have been arrested and are helping in the ongoing investigation on the incident. Patrols are continuing on land and air in the entire mission area in North East towards apprehending or eliminating the rampaging terrorists in the area”.
The DHQ however dismissed as false, reports claiming that civilians were mistakenly killed in the air operations in some parts of the mission area, as the claim could not be confirmed after the mopping up aspect of the operation.
It reaffirmed its directive that necessary care should continue to be taken to ensure safety of innocent Nigerians in the operational areas notwithstanding the fierceness of the encounters.