Borno closes three roads to prevent wounded terrorists from fleeing
NAF denies allegations of rights abuse in Numan killings
The Borno State government yesterday closed three roads to prevent some wounded Boko Haram terrorists from fleeing.
The state Commissioner of Information, Dr. Mohammed Bulama, disclosed this in a statement in Maiduguri, the state capital.
He said the closure followed the advice of the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Rogers Nicholas.
According to the army authorities, the terrorists sustained the injuries when the military launched attacks against them in the Sambisa Forest.
The blocked roads cover a distance of 300 kilometres and are located
on the eastern and northern flanks of the forest.
The temporary closure of roads, which began yesterday, would last till February 4, 2018.
Nicholas disclosed that the insurgents had been attacking and killing people in several communities adjourning the forest in Borno, Yobe and Gombe states, adding that the roads were closed to protect the lives and property of the people.
The 134-kilometre Damaturu-Biu road, which lies on the western flank of
the forest, was however, not closed by both Borno and Yobe states government.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has denied allegation by the Amnesty International (AI) that it committed human right abuses in some communities in Numan, Adamawa State.
A statement by NAF’s spokesman, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya in Abuja yesterday, expressed concern that an organisation of the status of AI would believe such a ridiculous story.
He asked how the pilot of an aircraft flying at a high speed would be able to distinguish between a herdsman and a local farmer before deciding which one to “bomb.”
Adesanya added that the NAF had never been involved in settling disputes between herdsmen and farmers, as alleged by the AI.
He said: “The NAF remains a highly professional organisation, which places high value on respect for human rights, and therefore categorically states that the allegations by the Amnesty International are lies.”
The statement reads in part: “ In actual fact, the intervention of the NAF in the Numan crisis resulted in the successful dispersal of a group of hoodlums who were setting some villages around Numan on fire.
He explained that on December 4, a NAF Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform departed Maiduguri to conduct ISR over Numan general area.
“This was in response to a request by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army, following reports of clashes around that location.
“Hundreds of people, mostly dressed in black attires, and who appeared armed, were sighted ransacking and setting a village on fire.
According to him, the crowd fired shots at the NAF aircraft, which was on ‘show of force’ low-level flights.
“The aircraft had to fire shots ahead of the rampaging crowd when it became obvious that they were heading for Numan to inflict further damage,” he said.
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