By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigerian Army says, its troops in the North East theatre of operations have tested the recently inducted indigenous Mines Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles against Boko Haram terrorists in recent encounters.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, in a statement on Sunday, disclosed that the deployment of the MRAP dealt deadly blow on the terrorists.
Iliyasu disclosed that recent attempts by the terrorists to infiltrate Michika and Madagali in Adamawa state on Jan. 2 was repelled by the combined troops of 217 Tank Battalion and elements of 144 Battalion.
He explained that the criminals went to the town in gun trucks and motorcycles, began sporadic shootings that caused uproar in the peaceful community thus compelling law-abiding residents to scamper for safety.
According to him, the troops immediately mobilised, blocked and engaged the criminals with overwhelmingly superior firepower, forcing them to abandon their heinous intentions and retreat in disarray, albeit with high casualty in men and equipment.
“At the end of the encounter, two B/Haram terrorists were neutralised.
“Unconfirmed numbers of both dead and wounded criminal elements were believed to have been hauled away by the withdrawing insurgents as indicated by the traces of their blood found along their withdrawal route.
“Additionally, one gun truck mounted with Anti-Aircraft Gun, 2 AK 47 Rifles, 4 AK 47 Rifle magazines, 2 motorcycles, one machete, some quantities of provision, food items, drugs as well as IEDs detonating wires were captured by the gallant troops.
“In a related development, on same day, troops of 144 Battalion responded to a distress call on an impending B/Haram criminals’ attack on Kopa Village in Madagali.
“Enroute to the Village, the troops encountered a Boko Haram criminals’ ambush established to prevent troops counter action against their assailment on the town,” he said.
Iliyasu said that four B/Haram elements were kile while one gun truck, two motorcycles, one Anti-Aircraft Gun and two AK 47 Rifles among others were captured by the troops during the two encounters.
He disclosed that one officer and one soldier were wounded in both encounters, adding that the wounded personnel were in stable conditions at a military medical facilit.
According to him, it is gratifying to note that peace and tranquility has since returned to the Community.
“Additionally, on Jan. 4, some terrorists who attempted to attack the Headquarters of 29 Task Force Brigade location at Jakana in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno were over powered by the troops.
“At the end of the encounter, six B/Haram criminals were neutralised, with recovery of equipment while one soldier paid the supreme price and two others wounded in action during the encounter.
“The Wounded personnel were evacuated to a military medical facility and are responding positively to treatment,” he said.
Iliyasu further disclosed that the troops conducted massive raid/cordon and search operations at some identified Boko Haram hideouts between Jakana and Mainok in Konduga and Kaga local government arwas of Borno on Jan. 4.
He added that six suspected terrorists were arrested while a rotal of 461 captives comprising 100 men, 154 women and 207 children were rescued from the insurgents who had kept them as hostages in their ancestral community.
According to him, the rescued children within the Polio Vaccination age were instantly administered with the vaccine in line with the Buratai Intervention Task Force Initiative by the Nigerian Army Medical Team.
“All rescued victims have been promptly evacuated and handed over to Borno State Internally Displaced Persons officials.
“In a separate incident, on 2nd January 2020, troops of 159 Task Force Battalion deployed at a Check Point along the Main Supply Route Damasak-Kareto in Mobbar LGA of Borno State rescued 4 minors aged between 10 – 14 years old.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the victims were abducted from Damasak in 2015 by the Boko Haram criminal elements.
“The rescued minors narrated their ordeal in the hands of the Boko Haram criminals and how they escaped from a camp in Tumbun Gini during a recent onslaught by troops.
“It is heartwarming to state that the parents of the rescued minors were contacted and they have all identified their wards amid tears of joy,” he said. (NAN)