TROOPS of the Nigerian Army in a joint military operation involving air and ground components have killed three Boko Haram commanders including Khaids Abbah Tukur, Maimusari and Bakura Jega and at least a 100 more terrorists in Borno on Tuesday.
This was made known when the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Faruq Yahaya, and his counterpart, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, arrived in Maiduguri on Sunday morning to celebrate the Christmas with frontline troops.
According to BBC Hausa, a statement signed by Air Commodore, Edward Gabkwet said, a credible defence intelligence source said that the three wanted terrorists alongside fellow terrorists, numbering over 75, were killed in Mantari in the Gezuwa area of Bama Local Government Area of the state.
“The airstrikes by our NAF aircraft were authorized after it was revealed that a Boko Haram terrorist commander, simply known as Ikirima, had stationed his fighters and gun trucks at Mantari village, alongside other terrorists from other locations who had converged at the same location on motorcycles and bicycles”, a report by PRNigeria quoted
military intelligence source.
“Subsequently, the authorization for an airstrike was given, leading to the elimination of several terrorists and structures in the area,” the report added.
According to the military intelligence source, after the first wave of their airstrikes, some surviving terrorists found their way back to the same location to evacuate the bodies of the neutralized terrorists.
“This thus provided an opportunity for a follow-up strike on the same location which has been confirmed very successful as over 200 terrorists were neutralized with dozens said to be in critical condition,” he said.
On the other hand, a reliable Civil Joint Task Force (CJTF) source reportedly confirmed that ISWAP and Boko Haram terrorists had perfected plans to resume hostilities in the wake of the Christmas and New Year celebrations and the 2023 general elections.
The CJTF source was quoted as saying that “the timely intelligence received on their plans, especially their attempt to attack soft targets in Bama LGA thus helped in the successful air strike which has reduced their will to regroup and attack innocent citizens.”
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Air Staff have commended the efforts of the air and ground troops, as well as other security agencies under Operation Hadin Kai for the tremendous achievement being recorded in the theatre.
The two security chiefs noted that there has been a lot of improvement in the security situation in the region due to the ongoing operation, and urged the troops to continue to give their best towards ensuring that the Northeast region is completely rid of all terrorists.