Troops of 199 Special Forces and 222 Battalions, Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) in coordinated military airstrikes have killed 200 Boko Haram terrorists, including five commanders, on the fringes of Sambisa Forest in Borno State.
In sustained operations to clear the North West of banditry and terrorism, at the weekend, troops of 1 Division, the Army has neutralised three bandits and terrorists along Sabon Birni, Dogondawa-Kuyelo and Farin Ruwa.
The coordinated joint military operations of September 1, 2022, in Borno also led to the neutralisation of top five commanders of the terror group. They are Abou Hauwa, Amir Shettima, Akura Buri (Nakif), Abou Zainab and Abou Idris.
A counter-insurgency expert in the Lake Chad region, Zagazola Makama, stated, yesterday, in Maiduguri: “An intelligence-led aerial and ground operations targeted the terrorists’ hideouts in the Gaizuwa border, comprising Gabchari, Sheruri, Mantari and Mallam Masari villages in Bama Local Council of the state.
He said the ground troops had, during the raid, stormed a hideout of the terrorists at Gafchari, where they engaged the bandits in a gun battle, which led to the killing of over 30 insurgents, while others escaped with gunshot wounds towards the forest.
The Air Task Force (ATF), in another coordination with the ground troops, he added, detailed two Super Tucano jets to conduct air interdiction missions against the terrorists.
This, he explained, led to the killing of additional 70 fighters and drowning of many who tried to escape.
“Similar strikes were also undertaken at Sheruri when the combat aircraft attacked another location of fighters deployed to stage an ambush against the ground troops,” Makama said.
The Guardian gathered that the Super Tucano scored a devastating hit, killing Buri and Hauwa and more than 63 of their foot soldiers.
His words: “In another separate encounter with the terrorists during the robust fighting patrol, the troops succeeded in eliminating many insurgents in the axis of Mantari in a gun battle that lasted over two hours.
“In Gazuwa, the troops destroyed two vehicles and the home of Abou Iklilima, which used to be a hideout for insurgents’ leaders. Other makeshift tents and properties belonging to terrorists were also destroyed.”
Few of the surviving terrorists, who returned on September 3 to recover terrorists’ bodies, were able to retrieve 36 additional bodies in the river near Gabchari village, he noted.
Meanwhile, when the terrorists were preparing to conduct mass burial for their dead commanders, the military authorities also deployed Super Tucano to the location and neutralised most of them.
“This has completely degraded the capabilities of the terrorists in Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad region,” noted the Theatre Commander of OPHK, Maj-Gen. Christopher Musa, in Maiduguri.
The troops in the North West, according to army spokesman, Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in the ensuing shoot-out, eliminated three of the terrorists and recovered two AK-47 rifles, nine magazines, seven Baofeng communication radios, one Tecno mobile phone, 120 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition, one power generator and a motorcycle.