Security: We’re satisfied with military operations ― DHQ
The Defence Headquarters, DHQ, on Thursday, declared that the various operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other Security Agencies towards ending insurgency activities in the country are progressing satisfactorily in all the theatres in the last one week and such there was no cause for concern about the security situation in the country.
The Coordinator Defence Media Operations, DMO, Major General John Eneche, made the declaration in Abuja during the weekly Media briefing with Defence Correspondents on the general update on Armed Forces Nigeria Operations from 13-19 August 2020.
Gen Eneche while assuring the members of the general public that the Nigerian Military would continue to tackle the security challenges to ensure that normalcy was attained in all the geo-political zones of the Country solicited their cooperation in the area of providing credible information to enhance the operations of the troops.
Giving the breakdown of the successes recorded during the period under review, he said that the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have continued to exhibit sustained resilience in the fight against terrorism in the North-East zone of the Country as the troops successfully conducted aggressive clearance operations and dominate the theatres of operation.
According to him, “The Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE conducted comprehensive precision strikes, to mark the launching of its subsidiary Operation HAIL STORM.
“Air interdiction operations were conducted at identified Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) targets in the Lake Chad and Sambisa Forest areas of Borno State
“These attacks were conducted at Tumbuma Baba, on 16 August 2020, one of the Island settlements on the fringes of the Lake Chad. Additionally, the logistics facilities of BHT at Bukar Meram on the fringes of the Lake Chad were also destroyed on August 17, 2020.
“The attack on the locations scored devastating hits on the settlement, killing no fewer than 20 terrorists and destroying their structures
“Several BHT and ISWAP commanders were also killed and some of their dwellings destroyed at Boboshe, a village along the river line on the eastern part of the Sambisa Forest.”
He further explained that the troops of Army Super Camp 9, on August 16, 2020, engaged BHTs and ISWAP elements during clearance operations at Dikwa Local Goverment Area of Borno State.
Gen Eneche disclosed that during the operation, 2 terrorists were neutralised while one AK 47 rifle and 8 rounds of 7.62mm (special) were recovered while troops of Strong Response Area, Pulka on a fighting patrol, encountered and engaged BHTs/ISWAP elements along Road Pulka-Firgi-Banki Junction in Gwoza LGA of Borno State.
He said that in the process, a terrorist was neutralized while 2 fully loaded AK 47 rifles, two 36 hand grenades, one motorcycle and IED materials were recovered by the troops while troops of 144 Battalion on ambush operation encountered and engaged BHTs/ISWAP elements at Wagga Mangoro and Wagga Lawal in the same Local Government Area.
According to him, “the terrorists fled due to the superior firepower of the troops. In another encounter troops of 151 Task Force Battalion neutralised two terrorists along Road Banki-Pulka in Bama LGA of Borno State.”
Gen Eneche further explained that in continuation of intensive clearance operation in the North-West zone of the country, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have continued to record tremendous successes against the bandits.
According to him, “Within the period under review, in a combined special clearance operation, troops of operation SAHEL SANITY destroyed 12 bandit camps at Yobe Baranda in Batsari LGA of Katsina State.
“Three armed bandits were also neutralised in the process while others escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds.
“Equally, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY deployed at forwarding Operating Base Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State on 15 August 2020 after an undercover operation successfully smashed a notorious illegal arms smuggling syndicate who specialises in massive arms supply to bandits in the North West from across the international borders.
“The three suspects all Nigerien citizens were intercepted at Dantudu in Mailailai District of Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State with 6 AK 47 Rifles, 3 AK 47 Rifle magazines and 2,415 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition concealed in various parts of their vehicle
“It, therefore, goes to show that some of the security challenges in the country have external influence. The suspects are currently in custody undergoing preliminary investigation before being handed over to the prosecuting agency.
He pointed out that based on the successes recorded in the zone during the period under review, farming, social and economic activities were once again flourishing Interestingly, as a total of 14 bandits were killed from this zone of the country within the period.
He said that in the South-South zone, Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have continued with the aggressive fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering in the zone with attendant successes.
According to him, “Within the period under review, Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team discovered an illegal refining site at Okorosa Creek.
“The site had a reservoir laden with an estimated 943.47 barrels of product suspected to be crude oil. The site was deactivated while similarly, on 14 August 2020, another site was discovered at Yalama community in Akokoturo LGA Rivers State. The site, which had 2 metal reservoirs laden with an estimated 150,000 litres of illegally refined AGO was deactivated”
He added that similarly, the personnel of Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA deployed onboard the Ocean Marine Solutions Houseboat along Yeye Creek in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State visited a previously deactivated Illegal Refining Site around Fonkro Community.
According to him, “The site was observed to have been reactivated and had 6 ovens, 7 surface metal storage tanks and 3 dugout pits cumulatively laden with about 120,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO and 566.08 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil. The storage facilities and product were dismantled while the site was earmarked for swamp buggy operation.”
He pointed out that additionally, on Aug 15, 2020, at Ikpemu Community along Jones Creek in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, the patrol team intercepted and impounded a large wooden boat laden with about 132,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO.
NORTH CENTRAL ZONE
The Coordinator, DMO said further that in the North-Central zone, troops have continued to sustain intensive clearance operations which have yielded remarkable successes.
He disclosed that within the period under review, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN, THUNDER-STRIKE AND WHIRL STROKE conducted several ambushes, raids and clearance patrols at various locations in the zone.
According to him, notably, on 13 August this year, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN intercepted and nabbed 5 suspected armed robbers at a snap checkpoint established at Makera.
The suspects were arrested along with a red Vectra car with registration number PLATEAU BF-335-JJN used in perpetrating their heinous crimes.
“The criminals confessed to being members of a syndicate who specialise in robbing unsuspecting passengers along the highways.”
He stated that the suspects were being profiled after which they would be handed over to the Nigeria Police for further action.
Gen Eneche said that additionally, the Air Component of Operation THUNDER STRIKE equally neutralised several armed bandits at their camp in the Kuduru Forest area of Kaduna State on August 13, 2020.
He pointed out that the feat was achieved through airstrikes carried out on the heels of intelligence reports indicating the convergence of members of an Ansaru Terrorist Sect-linked bandits group, led by one Mallam Abba, at the location.
According to him “Aerial surveillance missions conducted over the area also observed some bandits, wielding weapons in the forest. Several of the bandits were killed as the attack aircraft strafed the area, while others attempting to escape were mopped-up in follow-on attacks.”