Seven terrorists of Boko Haram have been killed by soldiers in the latest military assault on the sect’s Sambisa Forest hideout.
The Army said yesterday that remnants of the terrorists were neutralised in a ‘decisive operation.’
The Air Force simultaneously rained bombs on the forest as the terrorists tried to interfere with land operations by the army.
The Army spokesperson, Brigadier General Sani Usman, said a number of the terrorists escaped with gun- shot wounds.
Two soldiers were wounded during the encounter and were subsequently evacuated by the Air Force to the hospital for treatment.
He said: “Troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE involved in Operation DEEP PUNCH II have continued to deal decisively with remnants of Boko Haram terrorists hibernating in Sambisa forest and other parts of Northern Borno State with tremendous successes.
“The troops with effective support from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), had contact with the terrorists while advancing into Sambisa forest.
“During the encounter and further exploitation, the troops destroyed Boko Haram terrorists’ equipment, make-shift accommodation around Camp Zairo, Improvised Explosives Device (IEDs), Booby traps, other delaying obstacles and devices.
“The gallant troops recovered 1 Gun truck, 1 Anti-Aircraft Gun, 1 Machine Gun, a Pistol, large quantity of Anti-Aircraft Gun ammunition, a 120mm Mortar Base Plate and a Dane Gun.
“Similarly, the troops destroyed 11 Boko Haram terrorists Gun trucks, 12 Hilux vehicles, 3 Canter trucks 2 Double Barrel Rifles, 30 Bicycles, Power generating sets, cylinders, printers, military kits and IED making workshop.”
An impressed , Major General IM Yusuf , the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division who doubles as Commander Sector 1 Operation LAFIYA DOLE, has visited the troops harbour location to convey the Chief of Army Staff’s and Theatre Commander’s commendations to the troops for the wonderful job.
The Air Force ,in a separate statement by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, said : “The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter aircraft, on 25 January 2018, successfully neutralized several Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs), who were poised to interfere with ongoing operations in the Sambisa general area.
“A NAF Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform had sighted several BHTs on vehicles and gun trucks, which were carefully concealed in a forested area.
“Consequently, three NAF fighter aircraft were detailed to provide Close Air Support to own surface forces, which also engaged the insurgents.
“The fighter aircraft launched a bomb attack on the insurgents’ defensive positions while another wave of bomb attacks was launched at the insurgents’ gun trucks and vehicles, causing one them to go up in flames.
“Thereafter, one of the aircraft strafed a fleeing BHTs vehicle with rockets, destroying the gun truck in the process.
“The NAF aircraft’s mission destroyed not only the vehicles but also the workshop previously used by the insurgents to repair and retrofit their vehicles and equipment.”
The army and air force claims could not be independently confirmed.