The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says the sustained onslaught of the nation’s Armed Forces in various theatres of operation across the country has led to the elimination of 99 terrorists, arrest of 198 of them, and the rescue of 139 kidnap victims.
DHQ’s Director of Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba, made this known on Thursday, 23 November 2023, while briefing newsmen on the operations of the Armed Forces within the last one week, at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.
He averred that the military is progressing towards its goal of destruction of terrorists, insurgents, violent extremists, and other criminals, and then gave details of operations conducted in the North-East, North-West and North-Central geopolitical zones where scores of insurgents were neutralized; in the South-East, where troops apprehended and eliminated elements of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their Eastern Security Network (ESN) cohorts, and the South-South geopolitical zones, where troops curtailed the sabotage of the nation’s oil infrastructure, thus denying substantial quantity of crude oil theft.
In the North-East, troops of OPERATION HADIN KAI who conducted operations in Gujba and Damaturu LGAs of Yobe State and fighting patrols in Damboa and Mobbar LGAs of Borno State, neutralized 19 terrorists, arrested 21 and rescued 8 kidnap victims. They recovered 1 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), 1G3 rifle, 40 AK-47 rifles, over 300 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, and over 100 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition among others.
In the North-Central zone, troops of OPERATION SAFE HAVEN dominated in Zango Kataf and Kagarko LGAs of Kaduna State, and Mangu LGA of Plateau State, while conducting raid operations of criminal hideouts. In Zamfara State, they arrested 3 suspected armed dealers on their way to deliver ammunition to a notorious terrorist leader known as Bello Turji. Summarily, troops of OPERATION SAFE HAVEN neutralized 3 terrorists, arrested 32, and rescued 8 kidnap victims. Weapons recovered include 1 AK-47 rifle, 3 RP grenade chargers, and over 500 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.
Furthermore, troops of OPERATION WHIRL STROKE, whose operations were carried out in Tarkum and Katsina-Ala LGAs of Taraba and Benue States respectively, eliminated 2 terrorists, arrested 9, and rescued 3 kidnap victims. They also recovered weapons from the criminal elements.
In the North-West zone, troops of OPERATION HADARIN DAJI responded to terrorist activities in Malumfashi and DanMusa LGAs of Zamfara and Katsina States respectively, as well as in Dangaza LGA of Sokoto State. Notably, their air component conducted air interdiction in terrorist leader enclaves named Lalbi Nagogo, located in DanMusa LGA of Katsina State. The location was acquired and struck with rockets and cannons, and battle damage assessment showed that several terrorists were neutralized and their infrastructure destroyed. Overall, they neutralized 20 terrorists, arrested 20, rescued 83 kidnap victims, and recovered arms and ammunition.
Ambush and fighting patrols carried out in Chikun and Birnin Gwari LGAs of Kaduna State, by troops of OPERATION WHIRL PUNCH, who responded to terrorist activities in the areas, led to the neutralization of 16 terrorists, arrest of 16, and rescue of 3 kidnapped hostages. Notably, too, air interdiction was conducted at a terrorist kingpin enclave called Boderi, a new enclave in Igabi LGA of the State, to which the terrorists had migrated. Battle damage assessment of the air interdiction revealed that the elder brother to the terrorist kingpin, named Nasiru, several of his lieutenants and foot soldiers were neutralized, while structures were destroyed.
In the South-South, troops of OPERATION DELTA SAFE conducted operations in Akpabuyo, Isoko, and Ikpoba Okha LGAs of Cross River, Delta, and Edo States respectively. In Isoko, troops arrested 6 suspected drug peddlers, while in Bakassi LGA of Cross River State, troops, following a firefight, neutralized 3 kidnappers. They also apprehended 45 suspected oil thieves and destroyed over 240 dug-out pits. Overall, troops of OPERATION DELTA SAFE recovered over 570,000 litres of stolen crude oil, 454 litres of illegally refined AGO, and 10,000 litres of DPK. They neutralized 4 criminals and apprehended 81 others involved in oil theft and other criminal elements. Weapons recovered include 3 locally made pistols and 10 rounds of 9mm ammo among others.
In the South-East, troops of OPERATION UDO KA neutralized 6 criminal combatants arrested 14 suspected IPOB/ESN cohorts, and rescued 2 kidnapped hostages. 1 pump action gun and 6 rounds of 9mm ammo among others, were recovered.
Buba, in concluding the briefing session, noted that the outcome of ongoing operations across the country is an indication of the military’s readiness to continue in its mission of securing the country, adding that the Armed Forces is counting on the support of the citizens particularly in the area of public opinion, and is open to workable ideas on ways to improve operations and move forward.
“We are in this war together and should see ourselves encouraging our troops to win the war”, he said, adding that victory in it is non-negotiable. “Together we will not just win, but will have dominion”, he said.