Troops of 21 Brigade and rugged team of Armed Forces Special Forces (AFSF) on Operation Crackdown inside Sambisa forest while on harbour for refitting, came under Boko Haram terrorists attack at about 1.45am today morning.
A statement by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, added that the “gallant troops successfully repelled the attack”.
“They further followed up with mopping up operations of the general area before advancing. They also recovered 2 corpses of the attackers and the following items; 2 AK-47 rifles, 2 Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bombs, 5 rifle magazines, mortar bombs and a belts of Machine Gun rounds”, he said.
The statement however, “unfortunately” noted that “5 soldiers were wounded in action as a result of mortar fired into the harbour area by the Boko Haram terrorists. The wounded soldiers have been evacuated to the rear for treatment”.
Despite this incident, “the morale of the gallant troops remains very high as they are determined to successfully clear Boko Haram terrorists” the statement maintained.
The troops have also arrested one of the declared wanted Boko Haram terrorist leaders and also conducted patrols and clearance operations within the theatre of operations.
At about 1.35pm yesterday (Friday) troops of 143 Battalion arrested one Sulaiman Umaru, a suspected Boko Haram terrorists group member whose photograph is on the poster containing the photographs of the 100 Boko Haram terrorists declared wanted. He has since been moved to 28 Task Force Brigade Headquarters for further investigation.
Troops of 21 Brigade have continued with the clearance operations at Yerimari, while troops of 22 Task Force Brigade Garrison have also embarked on patrols along Dikwa–Mafa-Maiduguri road. The patrol was aimed at picketing the road to keep it safe and open.
Similarly, the same unit in conjunction with some elements of 112 Task Force Battalion conducted a fighting patrol along Dikwa-Gulumba Gana road.
The team had a fierce fire fight with some Boko Haram terrorists elements in which the troops killed quite a number of the Boko Haram terrorists.
Unfortunately, while on their way back, the team ran into an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Antul, a village south east of Dikwa, in which 7 soldiers and 4 Civilian JTF accompanying them sustained injuries. The injured soldiers and their civilian counterparts have been evacuated to 7 Division Hospital and Medical Services Maiduguri.
However, the patrol killed 2 Boko Haram terrorists and recovered 2 AK-47 rifles from them.
The patrol team had earlier intercepted 31 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), including women and children coming from Sunabaya, Gumule, Garno and Mane-Gana villages.
During preliminary investigations along with the vigilantes, one of the IDPs, Abacha Bulama, a native of Mane-Gana village, was found to be in possession of the sum of N1.9 million.
Although he claimed to be a businessman, his possession of such large amount of money arose suspicion.
While Bulama has been detained for further investigation, other IDPs have been handed over to Dikwa IDP Camp Manager for screening and further humanitarian assistance.
On their part, troops of 254 Task Force Battalion, 25 Task Force Brigade have moved to Ngalimeri and shelled Boko Haram terrorists hideouts at Budumairi, Goneri Baleni, Mallam Maitari, Malemiri and Gombori.
Although there were no signs of the Boko Haram in the area as they have all fled, however, 35 persons were rescued, screened and rehabilitated at Damboa IDP camp. The troops also arrested 2 suspected Boko Haram terrorists with Dane Guns.
In a related development, troops of 192 Battalion, 26 Task Force Brigade also carried out clearance operations at Guduf Buba, Yagwa, Gamude, Kwatara Kasa and Kwatara Tsakiya villages.
It was observed that at Kwatara Tsakiya, the terrorists have neatly removed the roofing of the dispensary and other buildings possibly to cart away later.
Apart of the formations and units mentioned above, quite a number of them have maintained blocking positions to prevent Boko Haram terrorists escaping from Operation CRACKDOWN and aerial bombardment by the Nigerian Air Force, while other troops carry out raids, cordon and searches in suspected Boko Haram terrorists hideouts.
Due to increased security, the theatre is witnessing increased humanitarian activities by various government and non-governmental agencies.