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Army kills 75 terrorists, loses four soldiers in six weeks

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[FILES] Nigeria Army

NAF trains 118 pilots in five years, seeks improved funding

Troops of Operation Fire Ball, Nigerian Army, said they had killed 75 Boko Haram terrorists in the Timbuktu triangle clearance operations in the North-East region.

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Acting Director of Defence Media Operation, Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, who announced the killing of the insurgents at the Army Special Super Camp 1, Ngamdu, Borno State, on Tuesday, said that during the six-week terrorists’ crushing under Operation Lafiya Dole, a military officer, and three soldiers paid the supreme price.

He disclosed that four soldiers were also wounded in the four-day action against terrorists’ incessant attacks.

“We thanked the troops for their sacrifice, commitment and gallantry, which led to the successes achieved so far in region,” he said.

He, however, urged them not to rest on their oars but build on the successes recorded to restore peace in the region.

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Onyeuko said Operation Fire Ball was meant to clear remnants of the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists from their enclaves, which, according to him, include Sambisa Forest, Mandara Mountains in Gwoza Local Council of Borno, and the Lake Chad region.

He said the ongoing operation had recorded tremendous successes within the short period from its existence.

The acting director, who stated that the wounded soldiers had since been evacuated to a military medical facility and are currently responding to treatment, assured the people that the military would finally rout remnants of terrorists from hideouts.

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MEANWHILE, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said that it had trained 118 pilots within the last five years.

Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, who disclosed this during an oversight visit by the House Committee on Air Force, said that among those trained were seven female pilots.

The NAF chief, who solicited an increase in the funding of NAF to enable it to meet up with certain obligations, stated that 14 females were still undergoing the pilot training in line with ongoing effort to ensure gender balance in the Air Force.

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He further stated that the Air Force before now had just three aircraft, but currently, under him, the Force could boast of 15 aircraft.

The committee, chaired by Mr. Shehu Koko (APC, Kebbi), lauded the Nigerian Air Force on the efforts put in place to combat terrorism and other forces of criminality in the country, capacity building, weapon development, and research.

Koko noted: “We are here on an assessment visit just to ascertain the level of work done by the Force and to commend the Nigerian Air Force for judiciously utilising the funds available to it.”

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