By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Defence Headquarters says troops of the Nigerian armed forces have eliminated 191 terrorists, apprehended 184 and rescued 91 kidnapped hostages in different operations across the country.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, who made this known while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, said the operations were conducted in the last two weeks.
Buba said a total of 104 Boko Haram and Islamic States of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and their families also surrendered to troops across theaters of operation during the period.
In the North East, he said troops of Operation Hadin Kai had conducted series of clearance operations in Borno and Yobe, neutralising 17 terrorists, apprehending 12 and rescuing 17 kidnapped hostages.
Buba added that the troops were able to recover 40 AK47 rifles, 10 G3 rifle, one single barrel gun, one 36 hand grenade, five AK47 rifle loaded with 105 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, nine AK47 magazine, one G3 magazine and 546 rounds of .62mm special ammo.
He added that 192 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 130 rounds of 9mm ammo, 10 empty case of 7.62mm NATO, four rounds of 7.62mm special (refilled), 18 mobile phones and the sum of N678,750 were also recovered.
In North Central, Buba said troops of Operation Safe Haven had neutralised five terrorists, arrested 24 and rescued nine kidnapped persons, as well as recovered a cache of arms.
He added that six daggers, three motorcycles, three mobile phones, three fragmental jacket, two Nigerian Police uniforms, one military camouflage trousers, one ammo magazine carrier, one military grade camel pouch among other items were recovered from the suspects.
The defence spokesman said the troops of Operation Whirl Stroke conducted fighting patrol and raid on terrorists hideouts in Nasarawa State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), neutralized six terrorists, arrested 62 and rescued nine kidnapped hostages.
He added that the troops also recovered one SMG, one G3 rifle, one unserviceable FN rifle, one locally made pistol, 1,060 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 19 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammo, four rounds of 9mm ammo, vehicles, one motorcycle and one mobile phone.
Buba further said that troops of Operation Hadarin Daji in the North West also neutralised 18 bandits and terrorists, arrested eight and rescued 38 kidnapped hostages.
He said in addition to that, the troops were able to recover one PKT gun, five AK47 rifles, two AK47 rifles loaded with 23 rounds of 7.62mm ammo, one fabricated rifle, one locally made pistol, 7 magazines, 215 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 22 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm ammo, 5 cartridges, 11 motorcycles and three mobile phones.
Buba disclosed that troops of Operation Whirl Punch also eliminated three terrorists, arrested seven and rescued three hostages in Kaduna and Niger States during the period.
He said during the operations, one AK47 rifle, three rounds of 7.62mm special, two mobile phones and the sum of N5.4 million and other sundry items were recovered from the criminals.
“Our mission against terrorist, insurgents and perpetrators of insecurity in the country is not one that should be seen as the exclusive preserve of just the military alone.
“Experience reveals that the military alone cannot neutralise terrorism and insurgency and this underscores the need for our counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency wars to remain a reflection of a whole of society commitment.
“The perpetrators of insecurity are not ghosts, they have families, relations and are from villages and communities in the country.
“Through a whole of society approach, we will suffocate any hope that these groups have of victory through senseless killings and dastardly acts,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed