MAIDUGURI — Over 40 suspected Boko Haram members were killed in an offensive by the military, which raided its identified cells using air strikes and ground troops from the 7 Division, Nigerian Army, in Bita village, Damboa-Gwoza road in Borno State.
Two weeks ago, no fewer than 20 suspected terrorists were reportedly killed by troops from the same Division in the area, while several others escaped during a similar raid in one of the Boko Haram hideouts as confirmed to journalists by the Division’s spokesman, Colonel Mohammed Dole.
Bita, which is 32 kilometres west of Gwoza town is about 135 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the state capital and it is alleged to be one of the strongholds of the Boko Haram insurgents.
The area has witnessed series of attacks and killings, with the bombing of public schools, a new generation bank and road attacks in recent times by the insurgents.
Reliable security sources told Vanguard that the military raid of Boko Haram hideouts in Bita took place on Sunday and Monday, adding that it was aimed at flushing out the insurgents who were suspected to have fled the recent attacks by the troops, and taken refuge in bushes on the Sambisa Game Forests.
During a routine visit last week by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihe-rijika to Maiduguri, he challenged military officers to be steadfast, as there would be what he described “as total war and destruction of Boko Haram camps in the state this week.”
The source, however, said: “The recent attacks launched by the troops from the Division beginning from this week was a huge success, as one of the strongholds of the terrorists were destroyed with the killing of unspecified number of suspected Boko Haram insurgents.”
The military authorities in Maiduguri could not be reached on telephone from Maiduguri as there were no communication networks in Borno State due to the state of emergency declared in some northern states.