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Friday, April 19, 2024

JTF kills 50 Boko Haram suspects



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The end came at the weekend for about 50 suspected Boko Haram members in Borno, one of the three states under a state of emergency.

They were killed by the Joint Task Force after a raid of Zabarmari ward in Jere Local Government Area of Maiduguri .

Three suspected terrorists on their way to Jigawa state to unleash terror were arrested at Borno Express Motor Park on Saturday by volunteered youths, a.k.a Civilian JTF, a security source claimed yesterday.

Zabarmari, according to the source, is one of the black spots where Boko Haram operates in Maiduguri.

The source said: “At the weekend, we received intelligence report that Boko Haram terrorists regrouped and were residing/ hiding in Zabarmari ward. We mobilised our troops to the area. On getting there, the suspected terrorists noticed our presence and started shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Great) as they fired sporadic gunshots at the JTF troops. We had no option than to repel the attacks as we succeeded in killing about 10 of the suspects.

“We did not take their bodies away, leaving them in the area. The following day when we mobilised our men to the area, we found out that hundreds of the terrorists were at the grave yard burying their dead and and as we approached, they started shooting at our troops which led to the exchange of gun fire, where we succeeded in killing over 40 of them”. The JTF source said. He could not be quoted because he does not have the authority to speak..

“As I am talking to you now, our men are still in Zabarmari hunting for any suspected terrorists who might have escaped the deadly encounter”. He added.

On the arrests of three suspected Boko Haram members who were allegedly on a suicide mission to Jigawa Statre, the source said, “The men of the JTF are highly delighted with the zeal/effort being put in place by the vigilance youths popularly called Civilian JTF.

The JTF source added: “They (the vigilance team) handed them to the JTF unit and one of them, now dead, said, they were from Bama Local Government Area on a suicide mission to Jigawa and other states in the north. In fact, the deceased, before his death, told us that already, all their weapons of massive destruction had been transported to the target areas before luck run out of them”.

Due to the total closure of GSM network services in Borno state, JTF Spokesman Lt. Col. Sagir Musa and Police spokesman Gideon Jubrin could not be reached to confirm the story.

Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika yesterday said the military is winning the war on terrorism.

He added however that it is a war that has tested the Army because insurgents have been disguising as civilians to ambush soldiers.

Gen. Ihejirika spoke at the Inter-Denominational Service at the All Saints Military Protestant Church, Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja, to mark the 2013 Army Day Celebration. The army is 150 years old.

He said the military had made tremendous achievements, but a lot still had to be done.

“Wining the war starts from in-house, I am aware of the improved capacity of the units, improved capacity of the officers and men, and this is what gives me the confidence that we will excel.

“And as for the operation itself, the nature of insurgency is such that you will continue to have occasional setbacks because you are dealing with people who disguise as civilians,’’ he said.

Gen. Ihejirika said some soldiers had been ambushed a number of times in the current operation, adding that it was made possible by the fact that the insurgents disguise as civilians.

He said some of the soldiers might not be on their best guard.

Gen. Ihejirika said attitudinal change would “transform the Nigerian Army into a force able to deal with contemporary challenges.”

The Civilian JTF yesterday apprehended two women attempting to smuggle assault weapons into the Monday market in Maiduguri.

Eyewitnesses told the News Agency of Nigeria (NANS) that the women, who concealed the weapons in their dresses, were arrested at the Bulabulin entrance gate of the market.

One of the witnesses, Malam Modu Bulama, a trader, said that they were in the market when they heard noise from the gate.

“We rushed to scene, but on getting there, we saw two women in veil with assault weapons,’’ he said.

Bulama said each of the women concealed an AK 47 rifle, a pistol and some items believed to be Improvise Explosive Devise (IED) in their veil.

A member of the gropu, Malam Usman Ibrahim, corroborated Bulama’s claim, adding: “we were on a routine checking at the gate when these women came with heavy veil.

“At first we did not bother to look at them, but we realised that one of them was shivering, we said something must be wrong,’’ Ibrahim said.

He said that when they were searched, “we found that each of them concealed an AK 47 rifle, a pistol and IED in their veil.

“We were surprised at the discovery, so we took them to officials of the Joint Task Force (JTF) on Operation Restore Order (ORO) for investigations,’’ Ibrahim said.

JTF spokesman, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, could not be contacted for comment, but a senior military officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the story.

The official said the JTF was already investigating the case.

Source: Nation

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