Wednesday, March 12, 2014

BOKO HARAM: Nigerian army record major breakthrough, capture arms, nab wounded terrorists, 700 vehicles

The Special Forces involved in the ongoing campaign against the Boko Haram insurgents have recorded what security sources have described as one the greatest breakthroughs in the campaign against terrorists in the North-East.

Investigations on Tuesday revealed that the Special Forces, comprising ground troops and the Air Force fighters, had demobilized one of the strongest fortresses of the Boko Haram sect.

It was learnt that the soldiers, who carried out the operation, were shocked by the volume of arms and ammunition and hundreds of operational vehicles that they captured at the camp.

A source put the number of vehicles captured from the insurgents at 700 while several members of the sect were arrested.

The spokesman of the 7th Division, Col. Mohammed Dole, referred our correspondent to the Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen Chris Olukolade, for comments on the issue.

Olukolade, who confirmed the capture of the Boko Haram camp, said that several terrorists who were wounded in the military raids were arrested and had made useful confessions.

The Director of Defence Information said in an electronic mail on Tuesday that some of the wounded terrorists who were captured near Lake Chad were pleading for mercy and were cooperating with interrogators from the Multi-National Joint Task Force.

Olukolade said that some of the insurgents were captured by troops around Dikwa, Cross Kauwa, Kukawa and Alargarmo.

He said that the captives revealed during interrogation that some of the camps were disbanded as the sect could no longer sustain the operation.

“In their confessions, it was revealed that some of the camps have been disbanded following the directive of their clerics who declared that the operation of the sect had come to an end as the mission could no longer be sustained.

“The captured terrorists, who are giving useful information as to the locations of their remnant forces, are full of apologies and pleas for their lives to be spared promising to cooperate,” the statement reads in part.

Olukolade said that the captured insurgents complained of starvation and the frequency of bombardments as some of the major problems which affected them.

The Defence spokesman warned members of the public to stay away from the area, saying troops were still continuing with the operation in the three states.

“They confirmed that starvation was a major problem in addition to ceaseless bombardments on the camp locations even when they kept relocating. They also confirm that several members of the group have been wounded and no treatment was forthcoming. Troops have continued their assault on other locations across the states covered by the state of emergency.

“Meanwhile, members of the public who have started visiting to engage in sight-seeing in some dislodged camps and fringes of forests such as Sambisa and others have been warned to desist from doing so as the tendency will no more be condoned where operations are still ongoing.

“The general area still remains a theatre and movement remains restricted as the environment has to be cleared for safety of citizens. The public will be informed when the locations are safe enough.”

It was learnt that the seized vehicles included those that the insurgents used for attacks and other vehicles they snatched from people.

Military sources said that the camp was well planned with boreholes, dispensary and other facilities to aid the operations of the insurgents.

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