By Sumaila Ogbaje
Troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) have eliminated scores of Boko Haram terrorists and rescued abducted victims in recent encounters in the Lake Chad Basin region.
The Chief of Military Public Information Office for MNJTF, Lt.-Col. Kamarudeen Adegoke made this known in a statement on Tuesday in N’Djamena, Chad.
Adegoke said the troops of MNJTF Sector 4 in Niger, while on patrol along Kara–Diffa Road on Jan. 9, 2023, intercepted four persons suspected to be Boko Haram/ISWAP logisticians conveying about 1,000 litres of fuel.
He said the fuel was cleverly concealed in plastic bags inside a Toyota Highlander Jeep and was being transported from Maine Soroa to the Lake Chad Islands, possibly to suspected terrorists.
He added that the sum of N650,000 was also recovered hidden in the vehicle, saying that suspects and exhibits were in custody of MNJTF Sector 4 for further investigations.
Adegoke said the troops of Sector 3 (Nigeria), had in another incident on Jan. 11, 2023, repelled an attempted infiltration by the Boko Haram/ISWAP criminals due to superior firepower.
He said that two terrorists were killed at the end of the encounter and one Rocket Propelled Grenade, seven bombs, two 60mm mortar bombs, 36 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, seven mortar chargers and two wooden canoes were recovered.
According to him, the canoes were promptly destroyed.
“Similarly, on Sunday, unspecified number of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists also attempted to infiltrate Monguno in MNJTF Sector 3 (Nigeria) in the early hours of the morning but met the gallant and alert troops.
“Troops engaged the criminals in a fire fight forcing them to withdraw in disarray.
“The unrelenting troops pursued and engaged the criminals along their withdrawal routes neutralizing three criminals while many fled with gunshot wounds.
“The troops also recovered one AK 47 rifle and 2 magazines after the encounter .
“Regrettably, a soldier paid the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty in this encounter.
“Five young men suspected to have been abducted were rescued by the troops while five brand new boxer motorcycles were also captured from the terrorists during the encounter.
“Efforts are being made to ascertain the origin of the motorcycles and how they were smuggled into the Lake Chad Islands while the rescued young men are being profiled in the Sector Headquarters before further processing,” he said.
MNJTF spokesman further said that a total of 70 terrorists surrendered to troops of Sector 4 MNJTF (Niger) and troops of Sector 1 (Cameroon).
He said the surrendered terrorists would be treated in line with standard procedures for such surrenders which would include interrogation and profiling by the relevant authorities.
He added that the Force Commander (FC), Maj.-Gen. Abdul-Khalifah Ibrahim, had enjoined the troops to continue to maintain resilience and offensive posture until the criminals surrendered totally or are defeated completely.
According to him, the force commander reaffirmed the fact that the terrorists have been severely degraded and there is need to finally finish them off.
“He reminded the Force of the obligation they have to observe international humanitarian laws and to be professional at all times.
“The FC praised the courage and determination of the troops of the MNJTF and their commanders and paid tribute to the fallen hero and passed his deep condolences to the soldier’s family.
“He called on the people of Lake Chad basin region to continue to support the MNJTF and other security forces with useful information to help bring this conflict to an end. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Abdulfatai Beki/Vincent Obi