Troops rescue 178 Borno villagers, arrest B’Haram commander
TROOPS of 7 Division of Nigerian Army and their counterparts in Nigerian Air Force (NAF), during a coordinated ground and aerial military operations in Borno State yesterday, rescued 178 villagers from Boko Haram enclaves and hideouts in Sambisa Forest.
The development came as it was observed that leader of Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, was missing in a new video released by the sect yesterday.
The eight-minute video showed an unidentified young man speaking in the name of the Islamic State in West Africa and calling on people to be patient: “We are still present everywhere we had been before,” he said.
The video also showed the sect members attacking a security checkpoint, seizing weapons, and slitting the throat of a man dressed in police uniform.
The Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said the villagers were rescued from over 12 Boko Haram camps and hideouts in the forest.
“The two-day Zaman Lafiya Dole Operations in the forest have also led to the arrest of commander of the terrorists group, along with the rescue of over 170 villagers detained and living with some of the terrorists in the identified Boko Haram camps. All of these camps and hideouts were also destroyed with the killings of some insurgents, while others fled with gunshot wounds and burns.”
He said out of the 178 rescued villagers, 101 are children, while women and elderly men are 78 and 10 respectively.
According to Usman, the arrested terrorists commander is in the custody of the military for further interrogations and investigations.
Also yesterday, the outgoing General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Maj. Gen. S. M. Muazu, called for more and concerted efforts from the members of the public to checkmate the excesses of the Boko Haram group.