From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Military troops of the counter-insurgency operation in the North East have conducted a total of 2,726 patrols and 982 ambushes against Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the volatile ares in August, a statistic from the operational headquarters in Maiduguri, Borno State, reveals.
The statistics made available to Daily Sun showed that 43 Boko Haram and ISWAP were killed in some of the operations within the month, while the terrorists carried out 26 attacks in remote communities in the northeast.
Theatre Commander, Joint Task Force North East, Operation Hadin Kai, Maj Gen Christopher Musa, told Daily Sun that the Chief of Army Staff has ordered the troops to step up the heat on the terrorists, to end insecurity in the northeast.
“I can tell you we are putting a lot of pressure on the terrorists because the Chief of Army Staff has directed us to clear the criminals. A lot of operations are going on; our Operation Desert Sanity and Lake Sanity are on course and getting on well. Our air component is conducting airstrikes,” he said.
He said the pressure on the terrorists have led to massive surrounding of the insurgents and terrorists, adding that the three sectors in the theatre recovered some arms from the terrorists during operations, while the combatants who surrendered also gave their arms.
Gen Musa said the Borno government is collaborating with the military to provide additional holding facilities for the surrendered Boko Haram/ISWAP members. He urged Nigerians not to entertain any fear of the surrendering of Boko Haram members, adding that the Federal Government was putting together a de-radicalisation programme to handle the surrendered Boko Haram/ISWAP members.
Among the large arm cache recovered or seized by the theatre since January, according to the Theatre Intelligence Coordinator, Colonel Obinna Azuikpe, included 129 AK 47 rifles, 16 FN rifles and three MGs. Others are 17 grenades, two pistols, two RPGs, one mortar, 145 magazines, 1, 515 rounds, 92 mobile phones and three hand held radios.