The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj Gen Rogers Nicholas has on Wednesday said that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in continuation of Operation Deep Puch 11 have broken the soul and heart of Abubakar Shekau’s group in Sambisa forest. Maj Gen Nicholas also said the troops killed 186 Boko Haram terroriststs , arrested 34 , while 1, 320 others surrenderd to both Nigerian, cameroonian and Niger Forces , as a total number of 3,745 Civilians were rescued between mid December 2017 and Mid February this year. He said a total of 49 Gun trucks were recovered in addition to assorted Vehicles and ammunition in the said operation.
Maj Gen Nicholas stated this at the command and control centre of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, while briefing the press on the exploits of troops within the Theatre in the past one and half month.He said unlike in the previous time when troops will capture sambisa and leave it for Boko Haram to reoccupy, the troops this time will remain in the forest untill every thing about Boko Haram is flushed out from the forest. He said to maintain this road construction is ongoing in the forest to make an access road as displaced Persons return home.
” I am delighted to welcome you to the monthly update on the activities of Operation LAFIYA DOLE. Over the past one and a half months, our troops have remained resilient, dauntless and focused on the Counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in the North East. ” A review of the activities within this period indicates that Boko Haram Terrorists are in disarray having suffered defeat in the Sambisa forest and are therefore desperate for reckoning. This press briefing is intended to bring you up to date on troops’ operational activities covering from mid December 2017 to mid February 2018.
“The period under review has been characterised by heavy artillery and aerial bombardments culminating in a series of ground offensives to clear identified Boko Haram enclaves in the Islands of the Lake Chad, also known as the “Tumbus” and Camp Zairo in the Sambisa. In these operations, many insurgents have been killed, others have fled for safety, while some others surrendered to our troops and allies in the Multinational Joint Task Force. “Many other insurgents who escaped from the onslaught also took advantage of the AMNESTY offered by the Nigerien Government to surrender to Nigerien Defence Forces. Close air support provided by the Air Task Force and Artillery bombardments were further reinforced by ground troops with blocking forces that denied the insurgents freedom of action and access to logistics, thereby canalizing them to Camp Zairo in the Sambisa. Troops are also tracking and hunting down the fleeing insurgents with fighting patrols and ambushes.
” Troops conducting Operation DEEP PUNCH II continued the clearance operation progressively into the very heart of Camp Zairo and on 30 January 2018 encountered a resistance by Boko Haram insurgents while trying to defend one of their major camps. In the encounter, troops were able to overpower and clear the insurgents and recovered an Eagle Main Battle Tank (EMBT), 1 Vehicule Blinde Leger (VBL) – Light Armoured Vehicle, religious books, Gas Cylinders and a bag of fertilizer apparently for making Improvised Explosive Devices. Other items captured by the troops include 7 Gun trucks, 4 Trucks, 5 Hilux vehicles, 1 Prado Jeep, 1 Golf car, 4 Mitsubishi pick-up, 1 Hiace bus and several motorcycles.
” Thee second phase of the operation began with an offensive by Land troops with close air support from the Air Task Force on 24 January 2018. During the encounter and further exploitation, troops destroyed Boko Haram terrorists’ equipment, make-shift accommodation around Camp Zairo, Improvised Explosives Device (IEDs) and Booby traps. The Air Task Force support, also led to several air strikes on BHT targets, one of which was an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) bomb on group of insurgents who were massing up to launch an attack on own troops. The air strike killed several of the insurgents and demobilised two of their gun trucks, thereby causing them to abandon the planned attack on troops.” Summarily, within the period under review, 186 Boko Haram insurgents were killed in combat. 49 Gun trucks, 3 Yellow Buckets trucks, 14 VBIEDs, 4 Toyota Buffalo, 13 Pick-up vehicles, 3 water tankers, 3 Canter trucks, 19 Hilux vehicles, 15 AK 47 Rifles, 3 FN rifles and several other assorted fire arms, as well as logistics were destroyed during the fire fight, as troops engaged the insurgents. This has severely depleted the ranks and logistics of the insurgent group.
” In the period under review, the Air Task Force conducted Operation RUWAN WUTA III from 12 – 17 December 2017 to consolidate on the counter insurgency gains earlier recorded in Operations RUWAN WUTA I and II. The Operation was a 6-day Air Interdiction (AI) to further sustain the tempo of offensive air operations, thereby denying the insurgents the much-needed respite to recover and re-organize themselves to carry out any major offensive against own troops. ” During the Air operations, key adversarial targets were identified and attacked in a series of air strikes by the Air Task Force. Aside the initially identified targets, intensive Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions were conducted to acquire other targets for interdiction as the operation commenced.
” The ATF provided close air support to Land troops, as they conducted offensive and clearance operations against the insurgents in Arina-Chiki, Arina-Woje, Chukun-Gudu and Bukar-Meram. This obvious synergy with the Land troops culminated in the decimation of the insurgents as well as destruction of several BHT technical (Armed vehicles) and other logistics, thereby significantly degrading their capabilities. “It is worthy of note at this juncture, that in order to successfully execute these Operations, the Air Task Force conducted a total of 71 missions in 94 sorties, within a total of 152 hours 45 minutes and a total of 142,230 Litres of Jet A1 fuel was utilized by the various participating platforms. The Air Task Force in conjunction with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has currently commenced the conduct of Operation RUWAN WUTA IV around the northern fringes of the Lake Chad Islands in support of ground operations against the insurgents.
“:II must also extend my sympathy to all those who have lost a relation, friend or associate or who have been affected in one way or the other by the dastardly and callous acts of suicide bombing by the terrorists. I urge you not to give up, nor be intimidated. We must together fight the righteous battle of destroying the evil, called Boko Haram.” While I appreciate members of the general public for their untiring support to troops in the ongoing counter terrorism and counter insurgency war in the North East, I implore you to continue to support the troops, “your troops” by being vigilant in your homes, neighbourhood and communities. Identify strange persons or activities and promptly alert the security agencies. Be assured that whatever information you pass to us will be treated discreetly. Together, we must defeat our common adversary.