Nigerian Army troops attached to Operation Lafiya Dole, the counter-insurgency initiative, have captured 167 Boko Haram fighters in an offensive on the terror group’s enclaves around the Lake Chad region.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director, Public Relations, Theater Command.
According to the statement, the offensive commenced about two weeks ago with coordinated air and artillery bombardments on Boko Haram enclaves. Ground troops, the statement added, moved in to clear the areas, killing many insurgents and arresting 167.
The statement equally disclosed that troops extricated and profiled 67 women as well as 173 children. Those profiled were said to have revealed that they are family members of insurgents who fled, following troops’ offensive. Arrangements, added the statement, are currently being made to hand them over to Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp authorities after preliminary investigations must have been concluded.
Furthermore, the Army explained that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, in the last two months, have conducted long-range fighting patrols and ambushes to clear Boko Haram hideouts in Saada and Juwei in northern Borno State.
“During the operations, troops intercepted and arrested 53 fleeing insurgents who have been profiled and are currently helping with investigations. Fifteen insurgents have also willingly abandoned the insurgent group, describing it as a futile struggle and have surrendered to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole,” stated the Army.
It expressed sympathy to families of troops and civilians killed in suicide bomb and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks by Boko Haram.
The Army urged members of the public to be more security conscious and vigilant in their homes, communities, places of worship, markets and other places of business to identify strange persons as well as any suspicious activity and report same to security agencies.