By Mustapha Buhari, Maiduguri
The Nigerian Army on Friday said it conducted a cordon and search operation in Pompamari Bypass area, following intelligence that some top commanders of Boko Haram had infiltrated the area.
Rumours were rife that the leader of the terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau, was captured by the troops during the raid.
But in a statement by the spokesman for theatre command, Kingsley Samuel, said Nigerian Army said the operation was part of the command’s clearance operation in urban and rural areas.
“As part of ongoing counter insurgency operations, the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE has been conducting several clearance as well as cordon and search operations in urban and rural areas within the Theatre.
“The clearance operations effort has been yielding several successes. It has forced the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) to change tactics and resort to employment of suicide bombers to target military locations and the populace. This necessitated the need to intensify Cordon and Search in Maiduguri metropolis and environment.
“In the last one week cordon and search operations were conducted in Jiddari –Polo, Muna Garage, Jakana amongst several other areas.
“On 10th August 2017, Theatre Command received information from one of its credible sources that some high value BHT suspects had infiltrated into Pompomari Bye Pass.
“It therefore became expedient to take preemptive action by combing the general area through a cordon and search operations.
“The operation was successfully conducted as over 30 houses were searched. One of such included a property which was said to be occupied by United Nations Staff, although the property did not carry a UN designation.
“On the whole, operation in the general area was successfully concluded but no arrest was made because the suspects were not found.
“The command wishes to assure the general public that these operations are being conducted to safeguard lives and properties but not targeted at any individual or group.
“The general public is cautioned to avoid peddling rumours which may cause disaffection and to remain law abiding,” Mr Samuel, a lieutenant colonel, added.
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