Tuesday, June 6, 2023

6 soldiers die as Nigeria, Niger forces kill 22 Boko Haram terrorists in Lake Chad

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The Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, on Thursday said its combatants have killed 22 Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists in Mallam Fatori, on the fringes of Lake Chad.

In a statement by MNJTF’s spokesman, Muhammad Dole, the operation which was part of the design to swiftly end the menace of insurgency in the Lake Chad Region, was carried out alongside troops from Sector 3 Monguno (Nigeria) and Sector 4 Diffa (Niger).

Mr Dole, a colonel, said that the troops met strong resistance from the terrorists, who launched several mortar attacks, laid Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, along the troops route of advance and further attacks with Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices, VBIEDs.

He however said that the troops brought superior firepower to bear on the insurgents forcing them to abandon their enclaves.

The colonel noted that Operation SHARAN FAGE was massively supported by the air component of Operation Hadin Kai and other partners with air assets and surveillance equipment.

“This support spurred the determined troops to successfully clear enemy hideouts in and around AREGE, GASHIGAR, ASAGA, KAINOA, BANA and KAMAGUNMA, among other general areas.”

“In the course of this operation 22 Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised, 5 of their gun trucks destroyed, 5 motorcycles and several logistic bunkers were destroyed while 8 AK47 Rifles were recovered.

“Regrettably, 6 members of the  JTF (2 officers and 4 other ranks) from both countries paid the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty with about 16 wounded in action. 17 suspects were arrested in the general area of operations and are being profiled.

“The recently concluded operation which was heavily supported by OP HADIN KAI (Nigeria) targeted Boko Haram/ISWAP criminal terrorists hibernating in the vicinity of Mallam Fatori town towards the fringes of the Lake Chad.

“In line with its mandate of support for facilitating willing Internally displaced persons and refugees to return voluntarily and safely to their ancestral homes, the MNJTF provided security for the continuous security enhancement work in this area and would do so until the inhabitants return.

“The operation also created a favourable atmosphere under which the festivities marking the 63rd Anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Niger was peacefully conducted on 18 December 2021 in Diffa, with His Excellency, President Mohamed Bazoum in attendance.  It should be noted that this was the first such celebration in many years.

“On Wednesday, 29 Dec 21, the Force Commander, MNJTF, Maj Gen Abdul Khalifah Ibrahim on a debriefing mission visited the MNJTF Headquarters in the Diffa Niger Republic where he addressed the officers and men after receiving an after-action brief by the Operational Commanders.

“He commended the uncommon display of gallantry professionalism and courage by the troops who have taken the fight to the criminal’s hideouts in their areas.  He said after listening to the brief, that a lot still needs to be done but this was a good starting point.  He promised to mobilise more equipment and other operational enablers to the Sectors.

“He declared the year 2022 as a year of decision for the MNJTF as he vowed to uproot the criminals from their hideouts in the lake.  He paid tribute to the fallen heroes whom he described as martyrs of freedom. He appealed to the people of the Lake Chad Basin to continue to support the MNJTF and to bring forward information.

“He further assured them of the MNJTF resolve to clear the operational area and make it safe for all in the coming year in compliance with directives of the Service Chiefs of the Lake Chad Basin Countries.  He was accompanied on the visit by the Deputy Force Commander MNJTF, Gen Abdou Assoumane (Niger) and other key commanders of the MNJTF.

“On the sideline of this visit, the FC alongside other MNJTF senior officers decorated some rotating staff of the MNJTF Sector 4 with the MNJTF medal of service. He thanked them for their meritorious service,” he stated.

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