Abuja — As the military offensive to dislodge the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, from the Northern part of the country continued yesterday, Defence Headquarters said its mop-up operation had revealed that three soldiers were killed, one missing, and 14 terrorists confirmed dead.
The mop-up operation also revealed that seven soldiers were wounded, 20 terrorists apprehended, while seven vehicles and 13 handsets, belonging to the sect members, were recovered.
The wounded soldiers were being treated in a military facility.
Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, who disclosed this in a statement, said: “Troops have continued the advance and attack on identified terrorist camps in the Northern part of the country.
“Patrols are also ongoing to secure towns and villages from infiltration, while curfew on identified flash points is being enforced.
“Dislodged terrorist have been noted to be in disarray with a large number of them heading backwards to various borders. Their bases are being deserted but they are making efforts to evacuate most of the large stock of logistics, including scores of vehicles in their holdings.
“In the course of Special Forces pursuits and operations, a number of encounters have ensued since yesterday.
“After a mop-up of scenes of battle, 14 terrorists were confirmed dead, while seven vehicles and 13 telephone handsets were recovered. A total of 20 terrorists were apprehended as they fled.
“Altogether, three soldiers died, seven wounded and are being treated in military medical facility, while one soldier is missing.”
Vanguard learnt that the strategy of first deploying heavily armed soldiers, backed by air force reconnaissance aircraft to the bordering towns and storming terrorists’ camps along the borders with Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, made it impossible for the terrorists to escape across borders.
A military source said: “I can tell you authoritatively that the so-called insurgents’ are caged. They can’t run anywhere.
“Even when they try to run and discover it is suicidal at the borders, they come back and try to muscle their way but we are ready for them. We are, however, conscious that they could have surprises up their sleeve.”
Vanguard was told that the decision of the Commanders of the troops on ground to brave the dangers of launching a direct confrontation with the insurgents in their den, followed obedience to instructions from the military high command in Abuja, who insists that rules of engagements should be followed and the rights of combatants in such operation respected and protected.