Military confirms arrest of 11 militants •Denies death of 100

THE military, on Monday, continued the air raids in Arepo, Ibafo, Awawa and Ikorodu, Igando in Ogun and Lagos states as the number of arrested milltants swelled to 11.

Four speed boats suspected to have been abandoned by the militants were, late on Sunday, recovered by the military around Arepo and Ibafo areas of Ogun State.

The military also denied that over 100 people had been killed in the operation which started last Thursday, saying that the target of the operation had been identified.

Participants in the operations, the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air  Force, Nigerian Navy and the police, met on Monday at the Logistics command of the Nigerian Air Force, Ikeja, to review the ongoing operation.

Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai, the Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, who spoke with newsmen shortly after the meeting, stated that the air raid would continue.

Those present at the security meeting were  Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal Sani Ahmed; the Commander, 9 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, General Sani Mohammed; Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni; the Director, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Commandant, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Tajudeen Balogun.

Bobai told newsmen that “after using some of their surveillance aircraft to carry out racking of the areas since Thursday, the NAF pilots were at the Logistics command today (Monday) to brief us.”

The naval chief also added that “we identified four key targets which we believe, when knocked off, will set confusion in the militants’ and vandals’ camp.

“The NAF at the weekend used their Alpha Jets and helicopters to identify the targets and so, we had to call all the agencies involved to do an after battle assessment.”

Bobai also said “we have watched the video that the racking aircrafts have captured and we are convinced that there is the need to sustain the operation.

“So, we are going to sustain and continue to mop up the ground as the NAF use their air power to neutralise some other areas.”

Meanwhile the defence spokesman, Brigadier-General Rabe  Abubakar, has denied that innocent people were killed in the air raid, saying the attacks were precise on targeted places.

He also stated that the attack was targeted at criminals and not at any group of people from any part of the country.

A resident of  Arepo, Qudus, told the Lagos Metro that an ambulance was brought in on Sunday night to see if bodies of the millants had been recovered, but none was found.

He also stated that four speed boats were taken away by the military men who had continued to ensure a surveillance patrol of Arepo and neighbouring communities.