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Military, task force kill 16 terrorists in Borno, Katsina

By Odita Sunday (Abuja), Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri), Danjuma Michael (Katsina) and Abdulganiyu Alabi (Kaduna)
13 September 2022   |   4:21 am
Troops of Operation Hadin Kai have neutralised seven terrorists belonging to Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP).

• Troops rescue six hostages in Kaduna
• Airstrikes target insurgents’ medical facilities in Sambisa

Troops of Operation Hadin Kai have neutralised seven terrorists belonging to Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP).

The terrorists were routed in an ambush along the dirt road to Daula Market in Bama Council, Borno State. A counter-insurgency expert in the Lake Chad region, Zagazola Makama, yesterday, in Maiduguri, said the ground troops achieved the feat, following credible intelligence on movement of terrorists to the illegal market.

“Remnants of terrorists were coming to the market to engage in some transactions,” he said.

According to him, the troops were on a long-range patrol, when they got wind of activities of the terrorists and laid an ambush. Consequently, they rained fire on the terrorists, killing seven instantly while one escaped.

He said upon hearing that the terrorists had been killed, Abu Hassan, a top Boko Haram commander, mobilised co-fighters and headed to Bama town to attack the troops of 21 Armoured Brigade.

“On arrival, by 6:40 p.m., the terrorists began shooting sporadically, causing panic among residents of Bama and other communities along the Bama-Gwoza road,” he said, adding that the troops responded with heavy gunfire, forcing the insurgents to flee into Sambisa Forest.

ALSO, nine terrorists lost their lives, following an attack, which was repelled by men of the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF), in Batsari Local Council of Katsina State.

The incident, which occurred on Sunday, at about 4:30 p.m., also saw some of the terrorists sustain injuries, while five others were apprehended by the JTF team.

The terrorists had arrived on 10 motorcycles, wielding automatic weapons. After the incident, however, only a motorcyclist managed to escape.

A source said the terrorists had recently invaded the town and abducted some persons. But the JTF was ready for them when they came a second time.

Katsina is among several states facing security challenges, with terrorists, bandits and kidnappers often carrying out attacks on frontline communities.

Thousands of people have lost their lives, been abducted, or had their communities ravaged and domestic animals rustled.

Due to the challenge, the state governor, Aminu Masari, had asked people to defend themselves against terrorists, a situation that has led communities to resort to self-help.

When contacted, spokesperson for the police in the state, Superintendent Gambo Isah said the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the council was yet to report the incident to the command’s headquarters.

Isah, however, said he would revert when the DPO sends in his report.

LESS than 48 hours after neutralising masterminds of the security breach at the Nigerian Defence Academy, troops of the Nigerian Army rescued six kidnapped victims during clearance patrols around the Kangon Kadi area in Chikun Council of Kaduna State.

Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, made this known in a statement. Aruwan said troops, under Operation Forest Sanity, embarked on a clearance operation from Damba to Kangon Kadi, and fired on bandits’ locations around the Kangon Kadi forest, Labi, and Udawa River.

He said: “Bandits fled from the Kangon Kadi area under superior firepower of the troops, leaving behind six kidnapped victims at their camp. The victims were rescued by the troops and are identified as: Iliya Gide, Rabi Ali, Hussaina Gide, Naomi Nuhu and her baby, and Pamela Barage.”

MEANWHILE, a top military brass in the theatre of operation against terrorists disclosed, yesterday, that air strikes targeted the extremists’ medical facilities.

The source, who craved anonymity, said notwithstanding challenges posed by rainstorms and low clouds, intensive air and ground operations have persisted.

The source said: “Troops and airmen of the Land and Air Component synergise and coordinate their efforts against terrorists and their activities.

“In the Northeast, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft, under the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai, while acting on credible intelligence, struck a target at Somalia, in Sambisa Forest, suspected to be a terrorist hospital and health care facility on September 9, 2022.

“Somalia, a location near Sambisa, was believed to be the terrorists’ medical facility where wounded fighters, as well as those critically ill, were housed. After the strikes, several structures were observed destroyed and numerous terrorists neutralised.

“Air interdiction missions were also carried out at Abdallari, a terrorist enclave located Northeast of Maiduguri, on September 10, 2022.

“Several terrorists were also neutralised and structures destroyed, hence degrading their capacity to attack troops.”