The Nigerian troops have eliminated 75 Boko Haram terrorists, captured gun trucks and anti-aircraft guns, following commencement of Operation FIRE BALL, a subsidiary operation under Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
Operation Fire Ball is meant to clear the remnants of the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists from their identified enclaves in the North East region.
A statement by the spokesman for the Defence Headquarters, Benard Onyeuku, said the operation recorded tremendous successes within the short period from its existence with the last week of the preceding month proving to be the deadliest against the criminals.
“The troops in the various sectors of the theatre have continued to carry out their tasks relentlessly. The successes so far achieved wouldn’t have been possible without the sacrifice, commitment and gallantry exhibited by the well motivated troops some of whom have paid the supreme sacrifice. Within this period, the troops have carried out aggressive clearance operations, ambushes, robust day and night patrols in order to finally decimate the remnants of the Boko Haram/ISWAP criminals.
“Consequently, as a result of the aggressive offensive action carried out by the troops, several terrorists elements have been neutralized as large number of their equipment were captured while some were equally destroyed in the process.
“In this regard a total of 75 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists were neutralized within this period. In terms of the criminals equipment 4 x Gun Trucks, 1 x Bedford Truck, 3 x Anti Aircraft guns,were destroyed. The captured weapons include: 6 x Gun Trucks, 4 x Anti Aircraft guns, 1x PKT gun, 4 x General Purpose Machine Guns,1 x Automatic Grenade Launcher, 1 x Dushka Gun, 1 x Light Machine Gun, 48 x AK 47 Rifles, 1x Locally made Pistol and 10 x AK 47 magazines. Furthermore, large cache of ammunition were captured also. This include: 1 x 36 Hand Grenade, 567 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 448 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, 50 x Rocket Propelled Grenade bombs, 17 locally manufactured rounds, 3 shells for making Improvised Explosive Device, 1 x Smoke Grenade and 2 x belts of PKT rounds. Other assorted non lethal items were also captured from the criminals.
“Regrettably, one officer and 2 gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while 4 other soldiers were wounded in action over the period. However, the wounded soldiers have since been evacuated to a military medical facility and are currently responding to treatment.
“The troops of Operation FIRE BALL under Operation LAFIYA DOLE are hereby commended for their resilience, doggedness and commitment exhibited since the beginning of the Operation. They are equally encouraged not to rest on their oars but build on the successes recorded so far.
The entire populace of the North East region are hereby assured of the Nigerian military high command determination to finally rout the remnants of BHT/ISWAP criminals from their enclaves in this zone.
BENARD ONYEUKO Brigadier General Ag Director Defence Media Operations