The Nigerian Army Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has confirmed the loss of some soldiers in connection with the Boko Haram attack on Abulum, Maiduguri, at the weekend.
In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Major General Chris Olukolade, DHQ said the troops were pursuing the militants who were responsible for the attack in Buni Yadi when they engaged in a fierce encounter with the terrorists around Mainok and other locations between Apa and Abulum in Borno State.
It said that the death of the soldiers was as a result of the air and land attack launched on the members of the sect, and that some terrorists were also killed in the incident.
“The air operations to clear terrorists bases sited in Daggu and Yazza areas of Borno State during the weekend have registered the expected results in the ongoing campaign against terror,” Olukolade said. “The mopping up operation by ground forces after air assault has confirmed the death of several terrorists located in the bases. Civilians had earlier been evacuated from the vicinity of the identified terrorist enclaves in line with operation orders before the air and land assaults. Extensive cordon and search of the entire locality is ongoing with a view to apprehending the wounded and other members of the terrorists group who might still be trying to flee.”
The spokesman also stated that the suspects believed to have been responsible for detonating a bomb in the Bintu Sugar Ngamari area of Maiduguri on Saturday in which many citizens were killed have been arrested and are helping in the investigation.
“Patrols are continuing on land and air in the entire mission area in North East towards apprehending or eliminating the rampaging terrorists in the area,” the statement said.
It also noted that the campaign coordination cell has dismissed as untrue reports that civilians were mistakenly killed in the air operations in some parts of the mission area, as the claim could not be confirmed after the mopping up aspect of the operation.
“The reports are believed to be part of the design by those bent on discrediting the counter terrorists mission,” it concluded, adding that DHQ has reaffirmed its directive that necessary care should continue to always be taken to ensure safety of innocent Nigerians in the operational areas notwithstanding the fierceness of the encounters.
(From Biafra Galaxy)