By Augustine Ehikioya
In a fierce counter offensive in Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State, troops of Joint Task Force, North East (NE) Operation HADIN KAI (OPHK) have neutralized over 50 Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists.
Apart from eliminating top commanders of ISWAP, the troops also destroyed several of their combat equipment.
A statement by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this on Monday. It was made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA).
The statement said “The gallant troops also unleashed massive destruction on the terrorists’ Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and several Gun Trucks.
“It would be recalled, that 115 Task Force Battalion had an encounter with ISWAP terrorists in Askira Uba on 13 November, 2021, during which the troops aggressively defended their location and followed up with a ferocious counter attack.
“Unfortunately, the Commander 28 Task Force Brigade along side three of his soldiers paid the supreme price, as they reinforced troops to defend the location.
“While the battle raged, the gallant troops of 25 Task Force Brigade, supported by Air Component of OPHK engaged the terrorists in a hot pursuit.
“Troops made contact with the fleeing terrorists at Leho village within Askira Uba LGA and in the encounter that ensued, troops eliminated scores of terrorists and destroyed their combat equipment,” it said.
The statement disclosed that the equipment destroyed by troops included, an MRAP vehicle and 11 Gun Trucks.
The troops, it said, also recovered large cache of arms and ammunition viz., “Five Gun Trucks, two Anti Aircraft Guns, five AK 47 rifles, one HK Machine Gun and one HK Machine Gun links.”
It went on “Relatedly, troops of 115 Task Force Battalion conducted a dawn exploitation towards Leho village and environs, where they discovered 3 corpses of the fleeing terrorists and also recovered 2,560 rounds of 7.62mm Special and 29 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition abandoned by the terrorists.
“In a separate operation, troops have also recovered one AK 47 rifle and uncovered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) during a patrol in Karawa village and Baga Fish Dam area respectively. The IED has been safely detonated by a team of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit,”it stated.
The statement also disclosed that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya has led a team of top brass of the Nigerian Army to pay a condolence visit to the family of the late Commander 28 Task Force Brigade, Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu on Sunday 14 November, 2021, where he commiserated with families of the fallen heroes.
He has also urged the good people of the North East to continue to support the ongoing counter insurgency operations, while reaffirming troops’ renewed operational readiness to aggressively confront the criminal elements.