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‘Boko Haram Using Drones, Mercenaries Against Nigerian Troops’

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The chief of army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai has said a sudden rise in Boko Haram attacks over the last three months has forced the Nigerian military to review its counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast.

Buratai stated this on Wednesday in a statement signed by Brig Gen Sani Kukasheka Usman.

The COAS also revealed that the terrorists now use drones and foreign fighters in their operations.

“In the last two to three months, we have noticed daring moves by the terrorists, increased use of drones against our defensive positions and infusion of foreign fighters in their ranks. These potent threats require us to continually review our operations,” he said.

Buratai, while describing the activities of the terrorists as “daring,” said it threatened to erode the previously recorded achievements in the counter-terrorism efforts.

Boko Haram insurgents have carried out successful, back-to-back attacks on Nigerian military bases since July, leaving heavy personnel and equipment losses in their wake the recent being that of 157 strike force battalion in Metele.

Buratai lamented the recent attack on Nigerian Army 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, Borno State, on November 18 where, according to media report, at least 118 soldiers, including the battalion’s commander, were killed and over 153 missing in action.

COAS, however, said only 23 soldiers were killed in the Metele attack while 31 sustained injuries.

He said the attacks have put the military’s resolve to test, but assured that the insurgency would be uprooted before long.

“Since 2015, the Nigerian Army, in conjunction with sister services and other security agencies have systematically degraded the capabilities and capacity of Boko Haram terrorists and many successes were achieved.

“However, in the last two to three months, we have noticed daring moves by the terrorists, increased use of drones against our defensive positions and infusion of foreign fighters in their ranks. These potent threats require us to continually review our operations.”

The Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks targeting Nigerian military assets.

Buratai added that Borno villages of Kukawa, Ngoshe, Kareto and Gajiram came under attack at different times” over the past two weeks, from November 2-17

“Each of these incidents were successfully repelled and several members of the terrorists were killed.”

He noted that 16 military personnel were killed and 12 wounded in action during the period.

The military has reportedly intensified offensive against Boko Haram positions since the attack on November 18.

 





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