By Augustine Ehikioya
To foil attacks by terrorists, troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) have stormed terrorists enclaves around Nigeria-Niger Republic, and Cameroonian areas.
They were conducting clearance operations in coordination with the Air Task Force (ATF).
In the process, the troops rescued some hostages from the control of the terrorists.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Chief of Military Public Information, HQ MNJTF, Chad, Colonel Muhammad Dole, and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA).
It reads “In continuation with Operation Lake Sanity, MNJTF troops (Nigeria and Niger Republics troops) at Forward Operations Base, Arege conducted clearance operations in close coordination with the Air Task Force (ATF).
“The ATF identified intelligence driven targets which they engaged using multiple sorties in the vicinity of Tumbun Fulani and Tumbun Rago, where about twenty terrorists were neutralised. Ground forces then advanced and reached Tumbun Fulani but could not access Tumbun Rago due to marshy terrain.
“The criminals on sighting the advancing troops fled and abandoned their checkpoint, pulled off their uniforms and left their rifles and other equipment behind. Tumbun Rago was found deserted with Boko Haram corpses and a shallow grave containing Boko Haram corpses discovered, as the criminals beat a hasty retreat.
“Relatedly, the MNJTF Nigerien troops of Sector 4 while on patrol in the general area of Ngagam – Kabalewa and N’guigmi engaged a group of fleeing terrorists, neutralised five BHT/ISWAP insurgents, destroyed two gun trucks and large stock of arms and ammunitions were recovered.
“Sadly, one soldier paid supreme sacrifice and few others were wounded in action, currently receiving treatment at a military hospital.”
The statement added “In another encounter with Boko Haram Terrorists/ISWAP insurgents in the course of further clearance operations by MNJTF troops of Sector 1 (Cameroon) in the vicinity of Toumbuma, Kerenua, and Chikingudu neutralized 2 Boko Haram criminals and maintained dominance in the area.”
At the end of the earlier battle engagement around Tumbun Fulani and Tumbun Rago, the statement said, six (6) traumatized female BHTs hostages managed to escape and were found by the troops who assisted them and brought them to their location.
It went on “They were professionally handled and given medical care in the bush. The rescued women have been moved to Maiduguri for further processing and handover to the civil authorities before they rejoin their families.”
Preliminary investigation, according to the statement, revealed that the escapees who hailed from Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe states were kidnapped at different places and times by “the evil and criminally minded BHTs/ISWAP ranging from October 2020 to April 2021.”
The statement disclosed the details of each escapee is as follows: “Grace Daniel, age 38 years, kidnapped at Mainok along Maiduguri Road On 18 December, 2020.
“Susan Lazarus, aged 28 years, kidnapped at Kupre Hong LGA Adamawa on 9 April, 2021.
“Jumai Inuwa, aged 42 years, kidnapped along Damaturu – Maiduguri highway on 19 October, 2020.
“Maria Adamu, aged 27 years, kidnapped at Gulak, Adamawa State on 6 December, 2020.
“Martha Malu, aged 25 years, kidnapped at Damboa Road on 1 December, 2020.
“Malakalya Dambade, aged 37 years, kidnapped at Mainok along Maiduguri highway on 25 February, 2021.”
“The ongoing aggressive clearance patrol into the terrorists’ enclaves, continue to degrade the will and fighting spirit of the insurgents. The offensive operation characterized by raids, deliberate attacks, ambushes and air operations is exacting serious pressures on the insurgents, forcing them to continue retreating and enabling hostages to escape. This momentum would be sustained,” it stated.