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DHQ to Nigerians: don’t be discouraged by recent killings

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Smarting from a nationwide criticism of its handling of the war against Boko Haram terrorists that have been killing, maiming and abducting defenceless Nigerians, the Defence Headquarters, on Thursday, appealed to Nigerians for their understanding and patience, pleading that last week’s massacre of farmers in Borno State should not be used as a barometer to judge their performance.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche made this appeal on Thursday during the weekly media briefing with Defence Correspondents in Abuja.

He said despite the recent killing of the farmers, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies “have continued their major operations across the country with dynamism”.

According to him, in the North West, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI and other subsidiary operations have sustained their operations progressively.

He hinted that “the gallant troops within the period carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and aerial patrols. Notably, on 26 November 2020, troops of Operation ACCORD intercepted and arrested 2 suspected bandits named Ibrahim Umar and Ibrahim Sani. Preliminary investigation revealed that suspects have affiliation with bandit’s leader called Turji. The suspects are in custody for further investigations.

“Similarly, on 27 November 2020, troops while on routine patrol arrested 2 suspected bandits named Iro Ibrahim and Umaru Abdullahi from Daba village. During preliminary investigation, picture of Iro Ibrahim where he was holding 2 rifles was found on his phone. The suspects are in custody for further actions.”

“Equally, the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI has sustained air operations against armed bandits with the obliteration of another camp and neutralization of scores of their fighters at Birnin Kogo Forest in Katsina State. Air strikes executed by the Air Component also resulted in the destruction of some structures at a camp in Dunya Forest in Katsina State”.

In the Northeast, Enenche disclosed that several land and air operations were conducted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies.

In his words, “the gallant troops adopted sustained vigilance and offensive postures through comprehensive ground and air operations. Within the period in focus, troops of Army Super Camp II Gamboru-Ngala conducted clearance operations at some suspected BHT/ISWAP criminals hideout at Garal village and Bulankesa village.

“The gallant troops made contact with the terrorists and effectively engaged and dominated them with rapid fire power. During the encounter, 2 BHT/ISWAP criminals were neutralized. Relatedly, on 27 November 2020 troops of Strong Response Area Pulka conducted a robust clearance patrol at Ashigashiya area. During the operation, troops made contact with the criminals at their logistics base.

“In the ensuing gun battle two terrorists were neutralized while others escaped with gunshot wounds. Several bags of assorted grains and other food items were recovered. Thereafter the logistics warehouse was destroyed.”

In the North Central, he stated that, “in continuation of intensive kinetic operations against armed bandits and other criminals in the North Central zone, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN, WHIRL STROKE and other subsidiary operations conducted raids at identified criminals’ hideouts.

“Notably, within this period, troops of Operation NUTCRACKER II in conjunction with local vigilante members while on clearance operations engaged armed bandits at Dutse Magaji in Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State. During the Operation, 3 bandits were neutralized while one AK47 rifle and 38 rustled cattle were recovered”.

Meanwhile in the South-South, Enenche noted that “troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have sustained the fight against economic sabotage to secure critical oil infrastructure in the zone.

“Notably, on 26 November 2020, gunboats of Forward Operating Base IBAKA while on routine patrol around Mbo river, intercepted and arrested one large wooden boat laden with 229 drums of 300 litres of product suspected to be PMS with 2 suspects, outboard engines and pumping machines. Items and suspects are currently in custody to be handed over to the relevant security agency.

“Additionally, within the period under review, troops of 146 Battalion discovered and immobilized two reactivated illegal refining sites containing 4 boilers, 6 storage tanks and one wooden boat laden with illegally refined oil products around Oputumbi in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State. Furthermore, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE immobilized 2 reactivated illegal refining sites containing 3 boilers and 5 storage tanks laden with crude oil around Orutoru in same Local Government Area.”

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