The Nigeria Army on Wednesday said it had arrested about 126 suspected Boko Haram members at the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp in Damboa, Borno State.
Lucky Irabor, a major general, who made the disclosure while fielding questions from journalists in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, said the suspects were flushed out during mop up operations.
Irabor said that the mop up was conducted after the Boko Haram terrorists stormed Sabon Gari area in Damboa Local Government Area of the state.
“During the attack, we lost about six soldiers and equipment, some of our soldiers were also wounded.
“After the unfortunate incident, a joint operation was carried out by 3 and 125 task force brigade of the army.
“Based on intelligence report available, we learnt there was an attempt by Boko Haram to attack Damboa town and many of the insurgents have infiltrated the IDPs camp in Damboa.
“We also have an intelligence report that many of those insurgents that participated in the attack on Sabon Gari have infiltrated into the IDPs camp.
“During the raid on the camp, one of the terrorists in particular was identified to have taken part in the Sabon Gari attack.
“When we searched him, we found a wallet on him containing the Identity card of one of the soldiers that was killed during the attack.
“So, in essence, that gave the purpose for further operations that our troops of 125 Brigade and the Civilian JTF rounded up about 126 of the terrorists in the camp.
“As you all know that peace has started returning to the areas, but we realise that the Boko Haram terrorists were hiding under law abiding citizens to continue to cause havoc.
“The operation is a continuous one, even though the arrest had elicited reactions from some NGOs working in the camp, also the IDPs, who viewed what we are doing differently.
“This was what really happened, though yesterday, there was an incident in Konduga where three suicide bombers detonated their explosives killing themselves and wounded some locals.
“Also, we had a case where some of our troops on patrol in Dikwa ran into an Improvised Explosive Device, where two soldiers were wounded, but they are getting better in the hospital.
“In Damasak also, we suspected Boko Haram movement looking for logistics and food, we laid ambush and killed four of them and recovered a Hilux truck, weapons, fish and rice.
“It will also interest you to note that our Naval component of the operation have been very active in Lake Chad.
“We are currently strengthening out platforms on that axis toward ensuring that we go deeper in our operations to fish out other Boko Haram terrorists in the area.
“Looking back into our operations in the last 14 months that I took over as the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, much has been achieved,” Irabor said.
Irabor has been transferred by the army to head the Multi Joint Task Force (MNJTF), in Njadmena, Chad Republic.