Troops of the Operation Fire Ball deployed to Operation Lafiya Dole of Nigerian Army have killed 22 members of Boko Haram/Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP). The troops also recovered a cache of arms and ammunition as part of efforts to finally root out the insurgents.
However, six soldiers were injured. Addressing journalists at a press briefing held at the Army Super Camp 1, Ngamdu yesterday, the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, said the troops in the various sectors of the Theatre had continued to carry out their tasks relentlessly. He said: “Consequently, as a result of the aggressive offensive actions carried out by the troops, several terrorist elements have been neutralised and a large number of their equipment were captured including a large quantity of their logistics consignment was intercepted by our gallant troops.
“Most importantly, a number of women and children hitherto held captive were rescued unhurt. In this regard, a total of 23 Boko Haram/ ISWAP terrorists were neutralised while one terrorist’s Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert was captured alive during an encounter.
*Sequel to the commencement of Operation FIRE BALL, a subsidiary operation under Operation LAFIYA DOLE, which is meant to clear the remnants of the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists from their identified enclaves in the North-East region, has steadily progressed and satisfactorily too with significant results within the short period from its inception.
“The last three weeks of this month has proved to be a significant period against the criminals. This is as a result of the more successful operations conducted within this period.” Onyeuko added that the troops of Operation FIRE BALL in the various Sectors of the Theatre had continued to dominate the general areas of operation and carry out their tasks relentlessly and professionally.
He said: “The successes so far achieved were made possible with the commitment and gallantry exhibited by the well-motivated troops within the period under review. “The troops have carried out aggressive clearance op-erations, ambushes, robust day and night patrols in order to finally decimate the remnants of the Boko Haram/ISWAP criminals.
“Equally, the gallant troops courageously intercepted some Boko Haram criminals while attempting to collect ransom from relations of their abducted victims leading to the decimation of the criminals and successful rescue of two women and three children unhurt.”
Onyeuko added that the troops also recovered four gun trucks, one fabricated vehicule Blinde Leger, two Anti-Aircraft Guns, one General Purpose Machine Gun, two PKT guns, eight AK47 rifles, two AK47 rifle magazines, one AK47 rifle cover and one Dane gun. Other items recovered include 18 rounds of 7.62 x 51mm, four rounds of Brownie Machine Gun ammunition, one Rocket Propelled Grenade Tube, one 36 Hand Grenade, 23 belted rounds of 7.62 x 54, one QJC Extra Barrel, 311 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition (Linked), 511 rounds of PKT ammunition, eight rounds of Light Machine Gun ammunition, one service tools box, one gas cylinder (for making IED), eight bicycles, several bags of grains and assorted packets of drugs. He added: “Other assorted non-lethal items were also captured from the criminals.”