Nigerian Army says it has captured 10 suspected key Boko Haram members at Bitta in Gwoza LGA of Borno, trying to escape the troops’ sustained onslaught on them.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Aminu Iliyasu, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Iliyasu said a successful sting operation conducted on October 9 by troops of the 26 Task Force Brigade led to the arrest of the suspects.
He noted that many of those arrested have been identified to have operated combat vehicles during the infamous Boko Haram attack on Gwoza in 2014.
“The arrested suspects include Shettima Mustapha Umar, Abba Buji, Alhaji Bukar Madu-(KAHID – a Boko Haram Terrorists’ equivalent of a Brigadier General), Ali Hassan (Boko Haram Terrorist Imam) and Alkali Laminu.
“Others are Bukur Mustapha, Buba Umaru (Alias Black Uhuru) also a KAHID, Madu Nosobe, Mustapha Hussaine and Umar Jeddum all from Bama LGA of Borno State.
“It is gratifying to note that one of the arrested suspects, Alhaji Bukar Modu is Serial 89 on the high profile Boko Haram leaders wanted list published by the authorities of the Nigerian Army,’’ he said.
Mr Iliyasu, a colonel, said the troops of the Nigerian Army had stepped up operations nationwide to checkmate the activities of criminal, adding that various operations had yielded results.
He also said that troops of 1 Division Garrison Tactical Headquarters, Kaduna, intercepted suspected cattle rustlers and recovered 23 rustled cows in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area.
According to him, efforts are on to identify the owners of the stolen livestock for eventual release to them.
Mr Iliyasu further said that five herdsmen, complicit in the murder of one Haliru Yahaya on his farm in Birniwa in Jigawa, were arrested in a joint operation by the army and police.
The operations spokesperson said the arrested suspects were currently in the custody of the Nigeria Police in Birniwa while troops maintain vigilance in the area to forestall any escalation.
According to him, notorious armed robbers and kidnappers, vandals and oil bunkers were also arrested in Edo, Ondo, Ogun, Plateau, Delta and Rivers states in different operations of the army.
“In the light of the above, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai wishes to thank all patriotic citizens for availing the Nigerian Army with useful information leading to the successes so far recorded.
“He also congratulated the troops for the unprecedented successes in the arrest of the 10 Boko Haram criminals and admonished them to keep the pressure on the insurgents and their collaborators,” Mr Iliyasu said.