The Nigerian military says it has secured at least 30 communities that were previously under the control of the Boko Haram sect, as hundreds of terrorists perished in renewed operations in the Northeast. This came as Monday’s attempt by suspected Boko Haram terrorists to recapture Konduga town in Borno State from the Nigerian soldiers was foiled by the soldiers.
It was learnt that the insurgents who disguised as herdsmen with cattle crossing the road at 6.45am, could not beat the Nigerian soldiers to the game of deceit as the troops of 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in Borno State clashed with the hoodlums and effectively repelled them.
A statement on the Twitter handle of the Nigerian Defence Headquarters said the military operations carried out in the Northeast — particularly ‘Yobe State — to flush out the insurgents from their remaining hideouts,’ has been successful.
It said: ‘Troops are dominating operations in Kukawa, Geri, Gujba in Yobe to rid the terrorists…’
Recently, Nigerian troops routed terrorists from Bara, the headquarters of Gulani Local Government Area. On Sunday night, the troops also invaded Kukawa, Geri, Gujba in Yobe State and Gulag, the headquarters of Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
Other locations also cleared in the course of the operation, according to the Defence Headquarters, included, Shikah, Fikayel, Tetebah, Buza, Kamla and Bumsa. With the massive military operations, the troops have also recovered Monguno, Marte, Gamboru Ngala, Dikwa, Baga, among other big towns and communities.
Other localities where troops have flushed out the terrorists in the operations, preceding the entry to Baga, include Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa and Amirari.
The military said that the troops’ attention, having successfully liberated many of the towns, ‘has now been focused on consolidation of the security of the areas to pave way for return of citizens to their normal life and for peaceful conduct of forthcoming elections.’
Interestingly, the troops have maintained its victory over the Boko Haram sect with renewed confidence, since Defence Headquarters asked for a six-week postponement of elections for the military to be able to make every part of the country, especially the Northeast safe for next month’s polls.
Sources within the military said that terrorists in their hundreds had been dislodged, eliminated or fled the area because of the effectiveness of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF)
Konduga, often attacked by insurgents, which have been successfully repelled by soldiers, is 40 kilometres east of Maiduguri, the state capital.
Bukar Fantami, a resident of Konduga, who fled to Maiduguri recently, said that the clash lasted for about 25 minutes before the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jet arrived and killed most of the terror suspects who disguised as cattle herdsmen crossing the Maiduguri-Bama road.
He said: ‘After the dawn prayers, I started hearing gunshots towards the Sambisa Forest and some people started to scamper for safety, before I started hearing the sounds of fighter jet hovering over us for some minutes. When the jet returned, again into this village, there were sounds of explosions that lasted for a few minutes, while the soldiers patrolling this village took cover in the trenches.’
On how the terrorists were killed, Fantami said: ‘Some villagers have to flee, while others remained in their houses for over an hour, before the gunshots and explosions ceased when we discovered that all the Boko Haram gunmen that disguised as herdsmen have been killed yesterday morning. The insurgents had been attacking us on several occasions, and many of them could not survive the repulsions of our soldiers stationed here.’
Confirming the incident yesterday in Maiduguri, a military source who does not want to be quoted on Konduga attack said that the several attacks on the village were to ‘pave ways and access’ to launch attacks on the state capital.
‘The military will never allow these terrorists capture Konduga so that they can launch their multiple attacks on Maiduguri metropolis. They have attempted through the gateways of Njimtilo, Molai, Tungushe and Ngom villages, but failed as we repelled the insurgents who suffered higher casualties in the last six months,’ the military source said.