The troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have entered the heart of Sambisa forest from different fronts while recording huge successes clearing out the last frontier of Boko Haram terrorists hideouts.
During several operations include Operation Rescue Finale which is the continuation of Operation Crackdown aimed at rescuing all the Chibok School Girls and other hostages held deep inside Sambisa Forest, troops have rescued a total of 801 hostages, between November 23 to December 5, 2016. However, it is still unclear if there are any Chibok girls among them.
The theater commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Leo Irabor on Wednesday gave a full account of the operations in Maiduguri saying the current offensive against Boko Haram has been successful.
General Irabor said the current operation into the heart of Sambisa forest is in several fronts and it included collaborations with the Nigerian Air Force which has been deeply involved in the fight against the insurgency. He also revealed that the two Boko Haram factions have been fighting each other causing disarray in the rank and file of the insurgents.
Irabor said: “On one of the fronts, on 30th November 2016 the troops cleared Goneri before harbouring at Goni Kurmi. While at harbour at Goni Kurmi the troops were attacked by the Boko Haram terrorists with the hope of slowing down their push. The attack was successfully repelled with the Boko Haram terrorists suffering casualties. The troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, different calibers of ammunitions and magazines.
“The advance continued the following day and our troops successfully cleared Alafa 1, 2 and 3 respectively before harbouring at Bula Bello. On 5th December 2016 the troops cleared all Boko Haram terrorists delay positions before capturing Njimia. At Njimia our troops were attacked by the terrorists with Anti-Aircraft guns and small arms fire. The attack lasted for about 30 minutes but was successfully repelled with Boko Haram terrorists suffering heavy casualties in both men and equipment before
retreating. However, one soldier and 2 Civilian JTF were wounded. The soldier and one Civilian JTF later died while being evacuated to the hospital.
“Yesterday, at about 4.00pm, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft identified Boko Haram terrorists massing up to attack own troops at Njimia. Our Artillery and air assets were used to engage the Boko Haram terrorists which led to the destruction of 4 vehicles, a fuel tanker likely laden with Improvised Explosive Devices. The Air Force also strafed and killed many fleeing insurgents.
“Meanwhile, I can confirm to you that the BHTs are in total disarray due to our current military operations. Even the Maman Nur and Shekau factions clashed again recently which has further forced the Boko Haram terrorists remnants at Kafa to disperse in confusion and desperation.”