Troops have taken the battle to Boko Haram insurgents, destroying their bases in Balmo Forest, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said yesterday.
Balmo is on the fringes of Sambisa Forest where over 200 Chibok girls are believed to be in captivity.
The military also confirmed that 44 insurgents were killed in encounters with troops in Kerenoa.
The Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, in a statement in Abuja, said the encounters between troops and the insurgents occurred at the weekend.
The statement said: “Troops have cleared and taken over Balmo forest in a military operation that lasted throughout the weekend.
“Prior to the operation, Balmo Forest, stretching from Bauchi through Jigawa states, with links to the fringes of Sambisa Forest, was used by terrorists as bases and hideouts for launching attacks.
“Terrorists and armed gangs operating in the forests were completely routed out while some were captured during the operation.
“Among those captured were two foreigners who are suspected to be mercenaries. Also captured are several weapons and equipment, including power generating sets, communication equipment, vehicles, motorcycles, foodstuff and kitchen utensils.”
The statement also confirmed that over 44 terrorists were killed in Kerenoa.
The statement added: “In another development, over 44 terrorists have died in Kerenoa and adjoining communities, following an encounter with troops who repelled their attack on the communities.
“Armed with IEDs and other high caliber weapons, a large number of terrorists had carried out a pre-dawn attack on the communities but met with stiff resistance of the troops.
“During the operation, several of them were captured as well as weapons and ammunition of various calibres.
“Meanwhile, troops on routine patrol around Banki and Miyanti in Borno State during the weekend fought through an ambush laid by terrorists, resulting in casualties on both sides. Altogether, a total of six soldiers were lost in the various encounters with terrorists during the weekend while those wounded are receiving treatment.”