Hundreds of insurgents have been killed in the renewed onslaught against Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast, the military said yesterday.
The military said Special Forces troops had been unleashed on terrorists in series of clearance operations in Borno State, the epicentre of the insurgency.
According to the military, the weapons of the insurgents were confiscated in the aftermath of the raids on their locations.
The troops, made up of the Nigerian Army Special Forces, the Nigerian Navy Special Forces as well as the Nigerian Air Force Special Forces, however, lost an officer and a soldier during the clearance operations.
Army spokesman Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, who confirmed the development, said the operations, which began on December 28, last year, ensured that several towns and villages were cleared of remnants of the insurgents.
In a statement, Brig.-Gen. Usman listed the towns already cleared as Zare, Gudumbali, Kukawa and Cross Kauwa.
The troops, the statement added, have also taken control of Baga and are now clearing the fringes of Lake Chad.
He lauded the troops for their gallantry in giving the terrorists a bloody nose, saying the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole also gave maximum air support in dealing a devastating blow on the terrorists.
Brig.-Gen. Usman said in the statement: “In the determined efforts to wipe out remnants of Boko Haram terrorists that now go by the appellation of Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP), the gallant troops of the newly formed Nigerian Army Special Forces Command (NASFC), Operation LAFIYA DOLE, have given the terrorists that attacked troops location in Baga a bloody nose.
“The triumphant troops, particularly the highly revered 707 Special Forces Brigade, which is the vanguard of the great exploit, dealt the decisive blow that neutralised several terrorists along that axis despite prior warning to them by some unpatriotic elements.
“The Special Forces commenced clearance operations on 28th December 2018, where they cleared Zare, Gudumbali, Kukawa and Cross Kauwa without any resistance from suspected terrorists. However, at Cross Kauwa, the unfortunate ISWAP terrorists made a costly mistake of raising their ugly heads.
“In professional fashion the troops exploited the situation to instantly and decisively neutralise the insurgents and captured some equipment.
“Though some of the terrorists attempted to infiltrate troops’ camp at Monguno, the gallant troops lured them and neutralised many of them and recovered some arms and ammunition.
“The troops who are in high spirits have since linked up with other forces in Baga where they cleared the Naval Base and the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, in the process, the Special Forces lost one officer and a soldier while five other soldiers sustained injuries. The remains of the two fallen heroes and the wounded have since been evacuated. The injured soldiers are in stable condition and receiving medical attention.
“The troops are now busy consolidating and clearing vestiges of the terrorists within the northern Borno State axis with special emphasis on the Lake Chad region.
“The Special Forces attained these great strides in close operational synergy with Air Task Force of the Nigerian Air Force who gave Intelligence and close air support by bombarding the ISWAP terrorists.
“The outstanding and dare devil exploits of the NAF’s pilots gave more courage and fire power to the troops. Similarly, the Nigerian Navy Special Forces were not left out of these gallant efforts.”