The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Thursday, said at least 156 suspected terrorists, bandits, as well as members of the Eastern Security Network, were killed by troops between July 29 and August 12.
Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brig-Gen. Ben Onyeuko, made the disclosure during an operational briefing at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.
According to Onyeuko, the development followed the renewed commitment by the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and other security agencies to fight all forms of criminality until sustainable peace was achieved across the country.
This was as he assured that on-going military operations across the six geo-political zones of the country will continue, until peace and order were restored.
Onyeuko, therefore, vowed the resolve of the military to take the fight to the door steps of enemies of state, with a view to denying them freedom of action.
“The intensity of these operations has yielded tremendous results as evidenced in the number of casualties and massive surrender of terrorists in Buni Yari, Gorgore, Baga and Monguno Towns as well as Maiduguri – Baga Road, Maiduguri – Damboa Road and Bula Yobe – Darel Jamel Road.
“Operations were also carried out at Kayamri and Mairari villages as well as Monguno and Kukawa Towns, all in Borno State. Cumulatively, the operations led to the neutralization of 27 BHT/ISWAP fighters, arrest of 51 BHT/ISWAP terrorists, 3 terrorists’ collaborators as well as recovery of 35 assorted arms and 1,051 round of ammunition including AK-47 and FN rifles, Dushka anti-aircraft guns, GPMG, PKT guns, 60mm mortar tubes, Makarov pistol and other machine guns, amongst other items,” the DDMO said.
On operations in the North West, he noted thus: “The air strikes resulted in the destruction of bandits’ structures including the residence of one of their leaders, Halilu Tubali, in which the armed bandits converged for a meeting.
“The air strikes in conjunction with ground troops’ assaults resulted in the neutralization of no fewer than 123 armed bandits and destruction of their logistics facilities in the process,” he said.
Speaking on efforts to ensure security of lives and property in the South East, the DHQ noted: “Within the period under review, security forces ambushed and neutralized 6 IPOB/ESN members, who were involved in the killing of a District Police Officer (DPO) at Omuma Town in Orlu East LGA of Imo State and arrested three. Furthermore, security forces following an intelligence report arrested one notorious IPOB/ESN member named Obumneke Gabriel at Umueli Amaraku Town in Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo State.
“The criminal was in possession of arms and ammunition during the arrest. Relatedly, troops raided IPOB/ESN members’ hideout at Amaechi Idodo community in Nkanu LGA of Enugu State and Nguzu Edda in Afikpo South LGA of Ebonyi State.
“During the operations one ESN commander was neutralized and another apprehended. Cumulatively, a total of 6 IPOB/ESN members were neutralized and 13 criminal elements arrested by their own troops and other security forces operating in the Zone within the period. Troops also recovered a total of 19 AK-47 rifles, 2 single barrel Dane guns, one G3 assault rifle and 3 locally-made pistols. Other items recovered were 30 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 3 daggers, and one locally-made double barrel pistol loaded with 10 rounds of cartridges was recovered in the course of the operations.”