THE armed forces have restrategised in their onslaught on Boko Haram in the North East and the new approach is yielding results.
The Director of Defence Information, Major-General John Enenche, who disclosed this in Abuja on Friday while briefing newsmen on the extent of the war against the insurgents, said it is not true that the insurgency is on the increase.
Enenche said what was happening now in the new operation mode was drawing enemy fire and that was the reason the insurgents were being killed in scores and their armoury being recovered.
According to him, “the Boko Haram terrorists are not professionals. They don’t know what we know. They just rush to the battle front to attack as sheep without shepherds and we kill them in numbers”.
The Defence spokesman said the army was now drawing the insurgents out and killing them, adding that sooner than later, the “diehards will be completely wiped out.”
Major-General Enenche also disclosed that a large number of the terrorists were now surrendering under the auspices of “Safe Corridor Operation”, but he did not disclose the number of those who have so far surrendered.
He added that with the new platforms that had been introduced into the operation, there was going to be massive aggression against the terrorists day and night.
The DDI announced that a large percentage of the landmass in Borno State had been trapped with landmines hence the government had been seeking the assistance of the United Nations and other friendly countries like the United States, Britain, France and Germany and is receiving encouraging response.
He added that a large number of the internally displaced people (IDPs) could not go back to their original abodes until the areas are de-mined.
Meanwhile, as part of efforts by the military to flush out the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists from their hideouts, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets have successfully destroyed an artillery piece in which the terrorists were in the process of sneaking into the Sambisa Forest.
The artillery piece, which was concealed under a tree, was sighted by a NAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft while on daytime patrol in the Sambisa general area.
About seven terrorists were also observed to be moving out from under the tree and the crew on board the ISR platform immediately called for air strikes by NAF combat platforms. Following the alert, one Alpha Jet and one F-7Ni fighter aircraft were scrambled for air interdiction on the artillery piece.
The new Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, said the Alpha Jet and F-7Ni strikes were observed to have hit the target.
According to him, the Alpha Jet aircraft strafed the area with rockets and the general location of the artillery piece was completely engulfed in an inferno while Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) footage by a NAF ISR aircraft revealed that the strikes were successful as the artillery piece was neutralised.
He noted that this was a follow-up to other interdiction missions previously carried out in the Sambisa general area and other suspected terrorists’ hideouts, adding that with these successful attacks, the attempt by the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists to reinforce their capability with the artillery piece was thwarted.
Also, NAF has successfully destroyed an illegal oil storage facility and other related items in Ojekiri and Ngbae communities in the Niger Delta.
“The aim of the NAF in destroying the illegal oil storage facility is to make oil theft and illegal oil bunkering unprofitable as part of the NAF’s contribution to protecting the nation’s economic assets”, Commodore Adesanya said.