Saturday, May 18, 2013

35 Killed In Raid On Boko Haram Hideout

French soldiers in operation Serval in Mali

Security troops yesterday used jets and attack helicopters to bombard Boko Haram Islamic camps in Sambisa Game Reserve, in Borno State, which is one of their strongholds killing a number of the insurgents. The Sambisa Camps are believed to be harbouring their training and enrolment base.
Over 3,600 military personnel comprising the Army, Navy, Police, the Department of State Security, DSS and other security agencies and men of Counter Terrorists Squad, CTS, are said to be involved in the campaign to rout the Boko Haram insurgents from their hideouts in the affected states.
Heavy weapons belonging to the insurgents including anti-aircraft and anti-tank guns were destroyed by the military fighter jets even as the Nigerian Army’s artillery long range surface to air guns were also being used.

Director of Defence Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade told Reuters that several camps had been attacked, including the game reserve in Borno state, but did not give further details.
“A number of insurgents have been killed. There are a lot of casualties. It is not just Sambisa, every camp is under attack. But we have not done the mopping up operations on the ground to determine the numbers killed,” Olukolade said, adding that, “there have been air strikes since Wednesday, and were continuing yesterday. I cannot tell you the actual number of terrorists killed, but I am optimistic we are making headway, and at the end of the operation, we will be commended.”
An unconfirmed report however, said that one of the air strike jets was shot by the insurgents, “but the pilots manoeuvred it successfully and landed safely at the base.”
This military offensive continued just as the Army said yesterday that its personnel in Daura, Katsina State foiled an attempt by the Boko Haram sect to overrun the ancient town by attacking and bombing government and public institutions like police stations and banks, causing mayhem and disrupting the peace of the residents of the area.
Borno and Yobe states and their environs have remained for two days without communication as all the GSM networks were cut off to enable the military accomplish their mission without hitches.
No fewer than 35 of the insurgents had so far been killed during the air strikes on their training camps.

Military Spokesman, Olukolade confirmed that jets and helicopter gunships had been used to attack several camps.
Nigerian forces are trying to regain territory controlled by increasingly well-armed Boko Haram Islamist insurgents in their north-eastern stronghold states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, which were put under a state of emergency by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday.
At Gamboru, Ngala and Marte towns on the border with Cameroon in northern Borno, residents said that heavily armed troops and tanks arrived on Wednesday, sealing off previously unmanned border posts.

Some sources said that many innocent people, particularly those residing in the remote areas along were not aware of the operations.The Defence Headquarters in an update on the battle to dislodge Boko Haram from the Northern borders of the country, confirmed earlier reports that it destroyed some terrorists camps in Northern and Central Borno.


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