No fewer than 37 suspected terrorists have been killed while several others fled with gunshot wounds when military troops of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army launched an attack on Boko Haram camp located in Alagarno villages of Borno State on Monday.
The troops also recovered several arms and ammunition with the destruction of three Hilux vehicles and motorcycles belonging to the suspects.
The incident has left many people living around the village to scamper for safety as the operation was carried out by a coordinated ground and air assault by the troops.
The spokesman of the Division, Captain Aliyu Danja, in a press statement made available to journalists in Maiduguri, the state capital, yesterday confirmed the incident.
He said: “Based on available intelligence, troops of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army launched an attack on terrorists camp in Alagarno, the operation which commenced on Monday, October 21, 2013 involved a coordinated ground and air assault by our troops in conjunction with 79 Composite Group, Nigerian Air force Maiduguri and destroyed the terrorist’s Camp.
“A total of 37 terrorists were killed in the fire fight while several others fled with gunshot wounds.” He added that during the operation which lasted for some hours, arms and ammunition were also recovered, while three Hilux vehicles and several motorcycles belonging to the terrorists were destroyed by the troops. Danja also confirmed the reported Boko Haram attacks on motorists and passengers last Sunday in Logomari villages of Gamboru- Ngala-Dikwa council areas of the state.
He, however, dismissed the figure that 20 people were killed, insisting that only four civilians were killed and two injured in the process. “In the early hours of Sunday, October 20, 2013, Boko Haram terrorists numbering over 50 armed with AK47 Rifles, and Rocket Propelled Launchers blocked road at Gamboru- Ngala-Dikwa in Logomari village killing four civilians and injuring two,” he said.
He added that the terrorists also set ablaze four civilian trucks loaded with provisions, before they attacked members of the vigilante youth a.k.a Civilian JTF who were on their way from a funeral, noting that three of the vigilante group were killed and their vehicles set ablaze.
He stated that the vigilante youth who escaped however reinforced, pursued the terrorists and destroyed their hideout, killing several terrorists, while others escaped. Danja noted that the troops of the 7 Division are currently conducting aggressive patrols within the area to trace and destroy Boko Haram elements within its area of responsibility.
Also yesterday, the Nigerian Army Headquarters, AHQ,, declared that the Boko Haram insurgents can never recover areas seized by the military in the ongoing offensive in the North- East areas of the country.
Addressing journalists in Abuja during its monthly press briefing, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, pointed out that such occasional attacks in some parts of the areas should never be mistaken that the rebels had regained freedom in those places.
Attahiru added that since troops were mobile, not stationed at a place and could not be everywhere at the same time, there were tendencies that terrorists could attack, but stressed that troops were always ready and able to counter attack and clamp down on them.
“For instance, on October 19, 2013, insurgents using rocket propelled grenades and AK47 riffles fired into Gamboru-Ngala. Troops deployed at that location promptly engaged the terrorists. In the ensuing fight, a couple of terrorists were killed, as others fled into Fotokol in Cameroun.
“On October 20, 2013, information from our Special Operations Battalion, SOB, indicated that a group of insurgents mounted a snap road block along Dikwa- Gamboru Ngala Road axis, thereby waylaying passengers and subsequently shooting them.
A vehicle conveying food stuff was seized and four civilians were killed, while two others were injured. Similarly, two privately-owned fuel tankers were also set ablaze. Troops from SOB pursued the attackers and five were killed,” the Army spokesman stated. He noted that troops were intensifying aggressive patrols on all the highways in the north east.
While stressing that there was no singular approach to fighting insurgency worldwide, the Army said it would continue to evolve new tactics to deal with the insurgents and get hold of all territories where they hibernate.
In view of the telecommunication shutdown in those areas, Attahiru said that the Army had made an alternative communication means available to the people, on which he said the traditional rulers have been properly briefed. In Lagos, the Federal Government yesterday arraigned four persons suspected to be members of the dreaded sect before a Federal High Court on charges relating to terrorism.
The accused, Adamu Mohammed, Mohammed Mustapha, Bura Hassaini and Mohammed Ibrahim, were alleged to have been arrested at Wasein area of Orile-Iganmu in Lagos by security forces, while putting finishing touches to their plan to attack Kirikiri Prison in Lagos.
They were brought to the premises of the court around 8:30a.m. by officials of the Department of State Security, DSS, after which they were arraigned before Justice Saliu Seidu on a three-count charge.
The charge was read in English Language but interpreted to the accused persons in Hausa after it was found out that the accused did not understand English. All of them, however, pleaded not guilty after the contents of the charge was read and explained to them. After this, the prosecuting lawyer from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. E. K. Ugwu, applied for a trial date but also prayed the court that the suspects should be remanded in prison custody.
In his ruling, Justice Seidu ordered the suspects to be remanded in prison and fixed December 16, 2013 for trial. In count one, the suspects were said to have been arrested by a team of security agents for being members of proscribed terrorist organisation Boko Haram, contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 2 (3) (1) read in conjunction with Section 33 (1) (b) of the Act as amended by the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice of 2013.
In count two, Adamu Mohammed and Mohammed Mustapha were accused of conspiring with others now at large “on or about June 16, 2013 to commit felony to wit: act of terrorism by organising a planned attack of the Kirikiri Prison in Lagos to free your detained members.”
In count three, Bura Hassaini was said to have, between 2012 and 2013, at Bama in Borno State, assisted the Boko Haram activities by monitoring the activities of security agents and reporting same via telephone to the leadership of the sect in the area headed by one Yamodu.
The offences are said to contravene Section 8 (1) (a) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, 2013 and punishable under Section 8 (1) of the same Act.